Sense and Sensibility (1995)

So last week I posted my review of this film with my niece, but didn’t go into all the other parts that make up the film-costumes, set, actors/actresses, etc., like I usually do for a film review. So I decided to instead do a second post on it.

Why not?

If you are interested in the background to the film, check out my review of Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and DiariesI’m just going to start this post off by saying, I love this adaption. The writing was just amazing, the actors were fantastic, I just love it so much! So…this post is going to be about how much I care for it. And what are we waiting for…let’s get started!

Set

So I love the set of this. The houses and hills are gorgeous. I understand the desire to walk about, as how could you not with this:

One thing I enjoy about this production is there is a lot of light. I know a lot of people like it when they are more “historical”, filming indoors with candlelight, but I personally prefer to be able to see what I am supposed to be looking at. Looking at you Emma 1996 AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version. 

I had no real complaints as the homes are gorgeous, although I think the cottage is a little too lavish, I mean I wish I lived in that cottage. I always pictured in the book something much smaller.

But otherwise absolutely beautiful and watching it made me want to travel to England.

Let’s go!

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Costumes

I really like the costumes in this. I think the production paid close attention to making the Dashwoods look lovely but also show that they had fallen on hard times-making those that are wealthy have nicer things, such as Charlotte Palmer. Lucy’s clothes are even plainer in comparison

I like how the awful  John Dashwood wears a ridiculous cravat.

The only negative thing I have to say is that at times Kate Winslet’s curls look a little too harsh on her. It’s not bad, but I think that they should have relaxed her hair in a few scenes.

But otherwise I love the dresses, the bonnets, the coats, Colonel Brandon’s uniform-how everyone looks!

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On to the acting!

Mr. Palmer played by Hugh Laurie

Let’s start off with a small but amazing character-Hugh Laurie’s Mr. Palmer. This is a magnificent gem in a wonderful story. He only has a few scenes, but every second is memorable as his delivery and juxtaposition of his brief sarcasm paired with his non stop chatty wife is just perfect!

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Sir John Middleton (Robert Hardy) & Mrs. Jennings (Elizabeth Spriggs)

Sir John and Mrs. Jennings are awesome characters! And I love how Spriggs and Hardy just nailed it in how the balance-kind, compassionate and comforting with meddling, manipulation, and outright nosey-ness.

These two love the Dashwoods and just want to help them-although spending quite a bit of the time inserting themselves into their business, against the girls’ wishes. But I just adore them. I espechially love how Mrs. Jennings goes full mama bear at Willoughby when he breaks Marianne’s heart.

These two were just perfect!

For more Robert Hardy & Elizabeth Spriggs, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

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Lucy Steele (Imogen Stubbs)

Imogen Stubs as Lucy Steele was beyond perfect in this. She is so manipulative and just horribly awful. The directing and her timing. I mean one of the best parts is this:

Look at her eyes-body language, full on power movie. She is so perfectly awful, there are literally no words to describe her wonderful performance.

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Mr. Willoughby played by Greg Wise

Greg Wise is perfect in this roll. He plays a charming gentleman, the type of guy who was born with money, always had money, never thinks about anything other than what pleases him-you know the type. This type of guy has always rubbed me the wrong way as they never think about others but just take what they want. But I can see how girls can fall for him.

I think what Wise does is that he plays the role extremely well-charming, sweet,-but there are slight signs to him not being fully earnest-how he doesn’t care about Marianne’s reputation, stealing flowers from the field to bring her some instead of buying them, making fun of Colonel Brandon who has never treated him wrong, etc. Small things, but then after he breaks Marianne’s heart it makes you realize that this guy doesn’t care for others as much as he does himself. It is very subtle-but very real. Who hasn’t t one point in their life fallen for such a guy or girl and looking back sees the small cracks in the charming veneer through the whole relationship.

Clearly Wontagby

For more on Greg Wise, go to Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: The Buccaneers, Episodes 3-5

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Fanny Dashwood played by Harriet Walters

Fanny Dashwood is one of the most vilest characters in Jane Austen and Winner of my “Who’s the Worst” contest and Harriet Walter did a stupendous job.

She treats the Dashwoods like trash, she talks smack about them constantly, she manipulates her husband into ignoring his sisters, is cruel and not just mean but diabolical in her manner. She so horrible it is almost an art form to the subtle ways she just systematically goes after people.

Harriet Walter was phenomenal in this role, I will never be able to view anyone as Fanny Dashwood but her. The lines and acting were just perfect!

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Colonel Brandon played by Alan Rickman

So first of, like my niece kept pointing out, Alan Rickman was too old for this part. He was 49 at the time, but I don’t care-I love Alan Rickman’s portrayal. He was just the perfect blend of kind, compassionate, romantic, heroic, etc. One of the best things about Colonel Brandon is that he falls for Marianne hard, but he doesn’t annoy her or crazily pursue her. He continues to be himself-brings her flowers and a book when she is ill, plans an outing (that accidentally gets canceled), visits when he is in London-the same things he would have done whether he liked her or not.

I think Alan Rickman captured that perfectly. He was never overt but displayed his care and love in the looks he gave and his body language. He can be so expressive in such little movements and moments. As said before my absolute favorite is when at the end when Marianne admits that she loves him-you can just see his relief, his love, everything in his face.

He is just perfect. And I love the way he talks about Willoughby and treats him. This man treated him horribly and not to mention what he did to his adopted daughter! But Colonel Brandon isn’t rude, cruel, or treats Willoughby like poop on his shoe like I would have done-instead Colonel Brandon is way more classy.

For more Alan Rickman, go to I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Edward Ferrars by Hugh Grant

So there is a lot of argument about Hugh Grant’s portrayal in Sense and Sensibility. Many feel like he is just doing the same thing he did in Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral. I don’t disagree-but I actually think it works for the character.

Edward isn’t my favorite of the Austen heroes. When I think of him I think of a man who has been dominated by others-his mother, Fanny, Lucy, etc. He’s never had a strong spirit but is bent and molded by others, never willing to stand up for himself. His mother is trying to force him into one life when he wants to be a clergyman, Lucy convinces him he loves her and that he wants to marry her when he really doesn’t know what he feels, and Fanny does all kinds of maneuvering in his life. I liked Grant’s portrayal better than Dan Stevens as I felt Stevens was too strong-willed. I mean the only time we ever see Edward really stand up for himself is when his mother threatens to disinherit him if he marries Lucy and he does it anyway.

I also like how Hugh Grant played this character and the way he says these snarky things with such dry wit.

For more Hugh Grant, go to Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

Marianne Dashwood played by Kate Winslet

Marianne Dashwood and Fanny Price are who I believe the hardest Jane Austen characters to portray correctly in media (and other adaptions). With Marianne she is young, passionate, she believes what she thinks is 100% correct and others are wrong or old-fashioned like most teenagers do. Basically, Marianne is just a teenager (Regency style but still acts like a teenager). But often when writing the character for film (or other adaption) a lot of writers and actresses have trouble with her. Often they make her empty-headed, only cares about her looks, and altogether dumb/foolish.

Kate Winslet, however, does a fantastic job. She acts like any normal 16-year old would (she was 20 at the time, like most teen character actresses are). At times Winslet’s Marianne can be rude and a bit of a jerk to Colonel Brandon, at times she just flat-out ignores him, but what teenager/young adult doesn’t act like that? Winslet is one of the few to really “get” this character. Her Marianne is sweet, passionate, romantic, emotional, and quick to judgement/react.

Not only is she able to accurately show the character of Marianne in her youthful heedlessness-but also accurately shows the despair of a broken heart and her tempered spirit in the end. I love the scene when she is listening to Colonel Brandon and she asks that he won’t be gone long-it’s only a few words, but her tone and expression evoke so much emotion. It is a fantastic portrayal.

For more on Kate Winslet, go to 25 Films of Christmas

Elinor Dashwood played by Emma Thompson

So let’s get it out of the way, yes she is too old to be Elinor. Elinor is 19 in the book and in 1995 Thompson was 36 years old. Yet, I don’t care.

Thompson wrote this amazing script and was able to portray Jane Austen in a fantastic way. She was able to blend comedy with drama-and I believe Jane Austen would have been proud.

By writing the script I think it helped her get into the head of Elinor and portray her perfectly. It can be difficult to portray a character that is logical and sensible and not have her come off annoying, cold, remote, etc. Thompson was able to show her the sensible logical person, but also give her heart–things that were done by a look, glance, etc.

For more on Emma Thompson, go to This Is Fate We’re Talking About, and If Fate Works At All, It Works Because People Think That THIS TIME, It Isn’t Going to Happen!: Dead Again (1991)

Ending conclusion:

I love this film. I just love it so much. The writing is amazing, the actors and actresses. I could watch it over and over again.

For more Sense and Sensibility, go to I Watched Sense and Sensibility (1995) With My 12 Year Old Niece

For more Sense and Sensibility (1995), go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

For more Jane Austen film adaptions, go to Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious (2015)

This Is Fate We’re Talking About, and If Fate Works At All, It Works Because People Think That THIS TIME, It Isn’t Going to Happen!: Dead Again (1991)

This is fate we’re talking about, and if fate works at all, it works because people think that THIS TIME, it isn’t going to happen!

So many of you say, hey where is the Jane Austen in Horrorfest? Well, we have had Death by Persuasion and Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans TV show High Seas/Alta MarBut I thought I would throw in another film with a Jane Austen connection. Because, you know:

Yes, while they were filming this-producer Lindsay Doran discovered that Emma Thompson loved Jane Austen. They spent a lot of time talking about Austen and her books:

“I got to know Emma very well over the course of the twelve-week shoot, and it wasn’t long before we discovered our mutual passion for Jane Austen. It was clear that she knew the books by heart, and that her appreciation of them was not of the dry, academic sort she enjoyed them, and she loved their wit as much as she admired their intelligence.” Lindsay Doran, from The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film

Doran than watched Emma’s show Thompson, and after seeing the writing and acting there-asked her to write Sense and Sensibility. Yes, without this film, this film never would have been born-or a less wonderful version would have been created.

So let’s review Dead Again

This film struck my interest when a patron checked it out at the library. So, of course, when it came back I had to check it out and watch it. It is a film-noir, murder mystery romance.

Film Noir

So the film starts off in black and white in the 1940s-amazingly with newspaper stories and headlines about the Musical Murder of Margaret Strauss by her Conductor Killer, Roman Strauss. Actress Margaret (Emma Thompson) was stabbed by scissors and her conductor husband Roman, (Kenneth Branagh) put on death row for the murder. As he approached the electric chair, journalist, Gray Baker (Andy Garcia), goes to hear the last words-Roman saying that this is far from over.

Now in color it is 50 years later-a woman (Emma Thompson) with no memory and can’t talk is in an orphanage.

The nuns and priest have been taking care of her-but it appears the help she needs is much more than what they can offer. They hire Michael Church, (Kenneth Branagh) a private detective who was raised at the same orphanage, to take her to the asylum and discover who she is.

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Michael Church (Kenneth Branagh) is known for being able to find “anything” and “anybody”. He has just found Dr. Cozy Carlisle (Robin Williams) psychologist turned store owner who’s been hard to discover. He gets the call and heads to the orphanage.

Ready for any case

Michael inspects all that they know about the unknown woman and discovers she has a Claddagh ring-an Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship-but only one band, the other is missing. He takes her to his friend at the newspaper who takes her picture and they plan on it being printed in tomorrow’s edition. Church then goes to take the woman to the asylum, but after seeing how horrible it is-takes her to his home. Just because it looks bad-like it has nothing to do with the fact she is a pretty woman?

The woman experiences nightmares, a fear of scissors, and screams out Dysher. The next day, Church gets all kinds of calls about the woman-but all are just cranks. But then, Franklyn Madson (Derek Jacobi), comes calling. He is an antique dealer and hypnotist who wants to help. He regresses the woman and we shift to black and white-to the Strausses.

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Margaret was an actress-beautiful, English, and beloved by all. She went to a concert and saw conductor Roman Strauss and was struck by him. Roman was from Europe, and escaped the Nazis, his wife dying in the escape.

Roman is just as struck as her and the two date, fall in love, and marry. Roman gifts her the Claddagh ring, with a matching one, and a very expensive anklet.

Roman Strauss: The man I bought it from explained to me that, when a husband gives it to his wife, they become two halves of the same person. Nothing can separate them… not even death.”

They marry and at the wedding, a Mr. Gray Baker (Andy Garcia), writer, comes as the date of someone. He is enamored of Margaret and actually tries to flirt and charm her at HER wedding-ugh this dude.

I’m out!

Understandably, Roman is very upset and does not like him.

Margaret “doesn’t” understand his feelings as she loves Roman.

The two are in love and happy-except for one thing. Margaret hates Roman’s servants -Inga and her son Franky. She thinks they don’t like her and they keep usurping her authority. She wants to be rid of them, but they saved Roman’s life. He never would have made it out of Germany without them.

After the regression, the woman can speak. They look over the Strauss story in Life magazine, located in the antique shop. They see a resemblance between the Strausses and them and that the orphanage where they both spent time, was the old Strauss mansion.

Spooky…

Church gives the woman the name Grace, and then goes to see Dr. Carlisle to talk about what happened. Dr. Carlisle tells him some cases where he worked with patients and regression helped solve the issues. He thinks they should continue to see the hypnotist and see what comes of the Margaret and Roman story. 

Hmmm

Grace and Church spend a lot of time together and fall in love.

They have sex and the next day a man shows up claiming that Grace, real name Katherine Sharpe, is his fiance. He has all the answers to Church’s questions, until he catches him in a lie about gloves. The man takes off and Church tries to catch him-but the man gets away.

Why would they want Grace? WHO would want her?

Hmmm

Church and Grace go back to the hypnotist where Grace regresses more…

Los Angeles Late 1940s

They Strausses are having a few cracks in their relationship. As Roman is not involved in Hollywood, he is seen as a “nobody” and is trying to write an opera but suffering from writer’s block. They are at a party and no one wants to talk to “nobody Roman”.

Margaret gets approached by Gray and the two go outside to talk. Gray is so in love with her it is super obvious-and Margaret should not be feeding it. Gray asks to “look” at her anklet, and she obliges-he holding her leg up to take a “closer look”. Really…really now?

Margaret, can’t you see how this is something you as a married woman should bot be doing with a man who is not your husband? Hmmm….?

Seriously

Roman sees them and becomes understandably furious, punching Gray in the face  (not understandable) which knocks him in the pool. They try to make it sound as if Roman is a jealous brute, making a big deal out of nothing-but I have to disagree. This guy started trying to get with Margaret at her wedding-and he’s still trying. Even though Roman shouldn’t have punched him-he totally deserved it.

The Margaret and Roman get in a fight-with it ending as Roman confesses his insecurities.

Later Margaret catches Frankie in her jewelry and tries to get Roman to fire them, but again he refuses. Gray calls Margaret, which Roman accidentally overhears. He questions her abut the call but she lies to him.

Later, Margaret was lying in bed when she is stabbed-by Michael Church!

Grace wakes up from her trance angry, confused, and scared. Michael takes her home but she flips out convinced that he will kill her.

In order to calm her, Church decides to regress as well. What he discovers changes everything. Will they figure out this mystery and solve it before another murder? Or will history repeat itself?

Hmm…

I liked how the movie was in color for the present and then reverted to the past. I thought it was pretty intriguing with a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming were thrown in very well. And now that I have seen the film, that poster is sop perfect and obvious. It is well worth a view for fans of Spellbound and film-noir

The end is a little cheesy, but Im not sure how else they could have had an ending that satisfied the viewer. I didn’t want to give away the end, so if you’s like to watch it, click here.

For more film-noir, go to Do You Ever Feel Like Your Life Has Turned into Something You Never Intended?: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

For more private detectives, go to Basil of Baker Street: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

For more on Sense and Sensibility (1995), go to I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more on Lindsey Doran, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

For more on Robin Williams, go to Diamond in the Rough

I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Most Romantic Moment #14

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So first things first!

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I hope you had a great day. Whether you spent it with someone you love:

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Friends:

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Or some yummy food:

Nachos

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So this year we are doing a return to form. We are ending our 14 days of romantic moments with a Jane Austen film. In 2013 we did Northanger Abbey, in 2014 Persuasion, and this year I decided to do Sense & Sensibility (in honor again for the late Alan Rickman). 

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So I have been reviewing the book Sense and Sensibility; piece by piece; but in case you haven’t been following me or don’t know the story I’ll do a brief recap.

The elder Dashwood sisters are nothing alike. Elinor is the eldest; reserved, quiet, thinking, sensible, and thoughtful. Marianne is the middle daughter; outspoken, feeling, emotional, impulsive, and doesn’t always think things through. They live with their mother and younger sister.

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Everything changes when their father dies and the estate passes to their half-brother. They are left with very little fortune and forced to move away. Before they leave they encounter Edward Ferrars, their brother-in-law, and Elinor falls for him, yet chooses not to act on her feelings.

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In their new home; their kindly but meddling neighbors try to marry off the girls. They set their sights on uniting one of the girls with Colonel Brandon. Colonel Brandon falls for Marianne, but the constant meddling has Marianne completely turned off.

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Ugh

Instead she falls for he handsome and dashing Mr. Willoughby; but is he everything that he seems?

Will the girls find their true paths? Is Mr. Willoughby really a romantic hero? What is better sense? Or sensibility?

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Most Romantic Moment: Please Don’t Stay Away Long

**Spoilers**

So my favorite romantic moment from Sense & Sensibility comes at the very end of the film. Willoughby has dumped Marianne without a word:

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And married another to keep his rich lifestyle. Marianne and Elinor left the city as soon as they discovered this, but Marianne was suffering from a broken heart.

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As they journey home, they take a quick stop at a friend’s place; which just so happens to not be too far away from Willoughby’s. Marianne tries to walk there in a rainstorm, being saved by Colonel Brandon.

Col. Brandon carrying Marianne

However, she is taken deathly ill and almost dies. She recovers and spends a lot of time with Colonel Brandon. He loves to read the same things as her, loves music, etc. As they spend more and more time together, Marianne realizes that she loves Colonel Brandon.

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So my favorite romantic moment comes after one of their reading events. Marianne wants to spend time together the next day, but Colonel Brandon has to go away. Marianne tells him:

Marianne: [to Colonel Brandon] You will not stay away long.

How romantic

How romantic

I know some may feel like really? But too me I love it and feel it is so romantic because it is only a few words, but in that Marianne is able to share her feelings and let Colonel Brandon know how much she loves him. And when Colonel Brabdon hears them and recognizes the sentiment behind the words, his whole face lights up.

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AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!

Sooooo cute! I just love it. 🙂

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So that ends Romance is in the Air: Part IV. I hope you enjoyed it. It was very different this year as I added in some TV episodes and reviewed a few films most wouldn’t consider romantic. But all in all I had a great time writing these and I hoped you enjoyed reading them.

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Romantic Moment #1: I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

Romantic Moment #2: I Don’t Care What You Think, She’s My Girl: A Trip to the Dentist, Veronica Mars (2005)

Romantic Moment #3: Business is Business, But Your Happiness is More Important: Borrowed Hearts (1997)

Romantic Moment #4: I Want to Be Your Ideal Man: Grease (1978)

Romantic Moment #5: You Don’t Have to Say the Words, I Already Know: Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Romantic Moment #6: Even Though I’m Furious With You, I Still Love You: War Room (2015)

Romantic Moment #7: It’s Not What You Buy, But the Reason Why That Matters: Playing Heart to Get, Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse (2013)

Romantic Moment #8: I’d Lay Down My Life for You: Pocahontas (1995)

Romantic Moment #9: You’re So Sad, I’m Making This Day Extra Special: The Bikini in the Soup, Bones (2011)

Romantic Moment #10: I’m Putting You First: How to Steal a Million (1966)

Romantic Moment #11: I Want to Understand You: North & South (2004)

Romantic Moment #12: You Were Right, Let’s Get Married: Psycho (1960)

Romantic Moment #13: I’m Okay With Waiting: Fateful, Awkward (2011)

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For more on Colonel Brandon, go to A Man of Great Worth and Respectability

For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to  Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Super Bowl 50

The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

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The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film

When I read the opening line of:

“IF THERE WAS ANYTHING I knew for certain, it was that Pride and Prejudice was a very stupid book and that Jane Austen was a very stupid writer, and that I would never, ever read one of her stupid books again. I was thirteen years old.”

I was hooked.

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This book was amazing! It was funny, interesting, full of Jane Austen, and behind-the-scenes extras. I could not stop reading it.

So the book is divided into three parts: Part 1: Lindsay Doran, producer; Part 2: The screenplay; and Part 3: Emma Thompson’s on set diaries.

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Part 1: Lindsay Doran

In this section, Lindsay discuses her first involvement with Jane Austen, and when reading the above quote you can see that she didn’t particularly enjoy it. Her view was changed at college, when during an English oral report, one girl told of the many virtues of Jane Austen and her novels. Lindsay told herself she would then put those books on her  reading list, but like everyone didn’t get around to it immediately.

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After Doran had an accident and was forced to remain home and stationary, she had the idea to read all of Jane Austen’s novels, out of which her favorite became Sense and Sensibility. Being a film producer, she saw the merits for turning this into a movie; but knowing that there would be a few complications. Trying to find funding for the film would be hard, along with choosing the perfect actors to portray the characters. Most of all, one would have to find a writer who could channel the voice of Jane Austen, yet make it something that the everyman could enjoy. Lindsay put it on the backburner until she discovered that writer.

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Eventually Emma Thompson was brought to her attention in the film Dead Again. With that film she discovered Emma loved Jane Austen and with the writing Emma did on her show Thompson and Doran knew that Emma would be the perfect person for the project and role of Elinor Dashwood. However, not everyone felt that way as it was very difficult for Lindsay to convince the rest of the people to take a chance on an unknown. This surprised me, as Emma Thompson is a huge star today, but then as I looked on her filmography, I realized she hadn’t made that many films at the time. In fact the biggest actor involved was Hugh Grant, who today is kind of passed over for Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, and Kate Winslet; as most fans prefer their performance in the film.

Lindsay Doran is a great writer, almost as it is is a conversation. It reads as if you happened upon her at a party and asked how did you get involved with the film Sense and Sensibility? Was it easy to bring to film? It reads really well, and is extremely enjoyable.

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Part 2: Screenplay

This part is just word for word the screenplay of the film. I really enjoyed it as it included scenes cut from the actual film, along with having every part of the dialogue, allowing you to see what you might have missed in watching it. It was a fun read for any lover of the film or book.

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Part 3: Emma Thompson’s On Set Diaries

This were really interesting as they are not only the behind-the-scene view of an actor, but the screenwriter as well. As Emma was the writer of the screenplay; we get to see her constant rewriting, agony over any cut scene or changed line, pushing of other actors to fix lines or say them a different way; along with her relationship with the director, set designers, producers, casting director, etc.

On the flip side of that, we have Emma Thompson the actor, who has to pull herself out of that writer role to become Elinor. Within this sphere she has a completely different relationship with the director, actors, set designers, makeup artists, etc. It is an interesting read as Emma herself talks about how she is straddling two worlds and has to separate herself from one when she enters the other.

She also tells fun stories of her and the cast, how the weather affected everything, the cultural differences between the English actors, American film crew & producers, and the Taiwanese director.

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All in all it was a great read for any Jane Austen or Sense and Sensibility fan. I highly recommend it and gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

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For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to It Doesn’t Exist

For more on Emma Thompson, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more books with a Jane Austen flavor, go to Fall For You

Sisterly Roles

Ah sisters.

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The joys and sorrow of having a sister:

You love them, you hate them, you love them again. Those who have sisters know the ups and downs. Those who don’t, take my word that the above song is pretty accurate.

Now I could go on about my sisters, but that’s not what this post is going to be on. Instead I am focusing on the sisterly bond between the Dashwood sisters.

With the Dashwoods we have three sisters: Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret; although Margaret doesn’t play as big a role as Elinor and Marianne.

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Elinor Dashwood

Elinor is the eldest and she is the sense in the title. Elinor is only nineteen years old, but she is wise beyond her years and incredibly mature. She is level-headed, cool in judgement, and always thinks through very clearly on any decision being made. She’s pretty much the sensible older sister that has been copied and used in books, movies, TV shows, etc.

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When Fanny comes in and is completely rude to the entire family, Mrs. Dashwood is eager to move out. But Elinor is able to stop her as she can keep a strong hold on her emotions as they need to stay there longer. Now she isn’t completely cold-hearted or an ice-queen. It’s just that she is a closed book.

“She had an excellent heart: her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong but she knew how to govern them…”

She has sense and knows when to say something and when not to.

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This is something that no one else in her family does. Now it is true that keeping feelings in can be wrong.

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But on the other hand that isn’t always the best thing. Having your feelings out in the world can also cause a world of hurt.

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So let’s move onto the middle sister:

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Marianne Dashwood

Now Marianne isn’t just some stupid or light-hearted, fluff type of girl. She is beautiful, kind, generous, etc. The only thing is, her feelings were never held in moderation. That is, never keeping them in check. If she is happy, everyone knows. And if she is sad everyone knows.

honesty

Pretty much she’s walking around with no filter.

NoFilter

More like feelings than thoughts.

But such is sisters. I did a paper on sisterly roles in college for my family psychology class. When you have sisters, especially those close in age, they tend to gravitate to opposite traits in order to create their own identity, be unique, and carve a role for themselves in the family.

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So we have here Sense in Elinor and Sensibility (feelings) in Marianne.

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Therefore one that strives for sense as that gives her support and makes her feel completely stable in life. The younger sister sees that her older one is extremely sensible, which makes her want to be the opposite and governed solely by feelings. Also Elinor is the eldest so she also feels more of having to be dependable and responsible for the family.

Just another case of being a sister.

Frozen Sacrifice self love you sisters

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For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to Promises Were Made to Be Broken

More on Coco Chanel, go to Women in Black

For more on White Christmas, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more of my favorite songs, go to It’s Fantastico!

For more of my favorite quotes, go to I Have A Problem

A Sense of Sense and Sensibility

So those of you who have been following me for a while are aware of a challenge I made a year ago. You see 2013 was the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice being published.

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I was going to do this whole series of posts on the book, books based off of it, films, etc. You know, the whole nine yards. (Go here to read more about it). Unfortunately…

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Life happened and got me off course. (Click here to read more about it) But I promised to continue to reread the book, watch the films, read the inspired fiction, etc until I had completed it all. It is a very long process and I have yet to finish it. However, as I was making these posts, I started thinking about how all the other books were being ignored. That made me sad, so I decided that I would read all her books, inspired fiction, film, etc.; at the same time and review them!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Yay that’s a lot, but it’ll mean that all her books will get a voice. Especially the widely ignored ones like Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park. 

So the next book I’m going to start doing a lot of posts on is Sense and Sensibility.

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Sense & Sensibility was the first Jane Austen book to be published. Before Sense & Sensibility Jane Austen had written Pride & Prejudice and sold it to a publisher. Unfortunately, that company didn’t publish it at all, but just sat on her work.

How rude

Jane Austen bought the book back and instead went to work on another one Sense & Sensibility. She sent this one to a different publisher and the work actually went through in 1811. So this book was the one that really set her up as a writer, and developed fans, making the publishing of Pride & Prejudice in 1813 feasible and accepted.

So all you Pride & Prejudice fangirl and fanboys better say a hearty thank you to Sense & Sensibility because without it, Austen might have become so discouraged that she never wrote anything else. And who could picture a world without her in it?

Here's to another 200 years!

Here’s to another 200 years!

What also makes this book special is that it is the only one to have two main characters, Marianne and Elinor. Persuasion is all about Anne, Northanger Abbey focused on Catherine, Emma is Emma’s story, Mansfield Park‘s attention is on Fanny, and Pride & Prejudice is all about Elizabeth. Yep, this is the only story that two characters are equally represented. You know what else that means? Double the Austen Heroes.

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So get ready for the sense:

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And the Sensibility

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Here are a list of other adaptions that I will also be reviewing.

Books:

Sense & Sensibility: A BabyLit Opposites Primer by Jennifer Adams

Suspense and Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited) by Carrie Bebris

Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MODERATE edited by Christina Boyd

Rational Creatures: Elinor & Marianne edited by Christina Boyd

The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik

The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen by Beth Pattillo

The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film by Emma Thompson & Others

Reason and Romance (Austen Series #2) by Debra White Smith

Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland

So Into You (The Jane Austen Academy) by Cecilia Gray

Colonel Brandon’s Diary (Jane Austen Heros) by Amanda Grange

Willoughby’s Return: A Tale of Almost Irresistible Temptation by Jane Odiwe

The Second Chance: A ‘Pride & Prejudice’ – ‘Sense & Sensibility’ Variation by Joana Starnes

Sense and Sensibility (The Austen Project) by Joanne Trollope

Film:

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Material Girls (2006)

Cow Belles (2006)

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

Sense and Sensibility (2008)

From Prada to Nada (2011)

Scents and Sensibility (2011)

We Are Family: Austentatious, Episode 1 (2015)

Big Girls Don’t Cry: Austentatious, Episode 2 (2015)

I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious, Episode 3 (2015)

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Austentatious, Episode 4 (2015)

Call Me, Maybe: Austentatious, Episode 5 (2015)

Drive Me Crazy: Austentatious, Episode 6 (2015)

Make Me a Match: Austentatious, Episode 7 (2015)

Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious, Episode 8 (2015)

Other:

I Watched Sense and Sensibility (1995) With My 12 Year Old Niece

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For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to Opening With…

For more on Elinor Dashwood, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas: Merry Christmas from the Austen Novels

For more on my love of Jane Austen’s work, go to Fanning All Over the Place

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Simply Fantastic

A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

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So this post was inspired by my ex. Last summer we were watching Sense and Sensibility (1995), as part of a deal we made, and he noticed that a lot of the same actors were in Harry Potter. So I, being the huge Jane Austen fan I am, decided I would compile a list of actors who crossed over from adaptions of the Jane Austen novels into the world of Harry Potter.

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Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter Series and Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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So many of you out there know of Severus Snape the Potions instructor from Harry Potter. He is first depicted as a mean, bulling, horrible teacher who dislikes Harry with a fiery passion.

Snape

 

Harry thinks Snape is a truly evil character, but it is later revealed that Snape is secretly helping and aiding Harry, working as a double agent against Voldemort.

Oh My Bad

He loved Harry’s mother Lily, and tried to do everything in his power to protect her. Loving her ’till he died.

Snape+Lily

Well Alan Rickman played Severus Snape in all the Harry Potter films, and also played Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995).

Colonel Brandon is one of the best Austen heroes. He has such a sad backstory, but still remains kind and good-hearted. When he was younger he fell in love with a girl, but his father broke them up. He went on to India, but she went down an awful life as she fell in love with a man who left her alone and pregnant. She died young, but Brandon took care of her child, raising it as his own. He then falls for Marianne, not caring that she had no fortune, but instead loving her mind and spirit. He is rich and of high social standing, but doesn’t allow those customs to dictate the ways of his heart. He continues loving her and even though she may not care for him, he still wishes her well.

So romantic!

So romantic!

When she is injured and caught in the rain, he carries her to safety. When she catches a cold and almost dies he travels a great distance to bring her mother to her. He is such a kind, generous, and one of the most amazing Austen men.

Col.Brandon

Both are men who are absolutely romantic, continuing to love their first love and will do anything to help their children. Snape becomes a double agent to protect Harry, all without his knowing. Brandon cares for the daughter of his first love, treating her as if she was his own. They are just amazing characters that you can’t help but love them. Truth be told, I would marry either one.

For more on Snape go to Even After All This Time: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II

For more on Colonel Brandon go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault

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Elizabeth Spriggs as the Fat Lady in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) and Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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The Fat Lady is the portrait that guards the Gryffindor chamber. The kids have to give her the password before they are allowed in.

Mrs. Jennings is Lady Middleton’s mother, Sir John Middleton’s mother-in-law. She is kind and caring, always trying to send the Dashwoods extra food or inviting them to dinner as she knows the family has a fixed budget. She also invites the girls to join her for a season in London, knowing that they could never afford such a luxury. When stupid Willoughby breaks Marianne’s heart, Mrs. Jennings is in her camp and ready to skin him alive. However, her gossipy and meddlesome ways, does at times make her a difficult person to like all the time.

These two characters aren’t very similar, although they both like to state their views. After the first film, they change the Fat Lady, but I don’t care for those depictions as much as I liked Elizabeth Spriggs.

For more Mrs. Jennings, go to Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: Homespun Bride

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Emma Thompson as Professor Sybil Trelawney in the Harry Potter Series and as Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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Now the Sybill Trelawney costume is done so well that many of you probably didn’t recognize her. But Trelawney is played by Emma Thompson, who not only wrote the Sense and Sensibility screenplay, but also was one of the lead characters, Elinor Dashwood.

Professor Trelawney is the divination teacher, and I have to side with McGonagall that I feel she makes up more than what she actually sees. But at times she does see things, such as she predicted the destruction of Voldemort. She also predicted the return of Peter Pettigrew and Voldemort.

Elinor is very different from Prof. Trelawney. Elinor is always sensible and quiet, keeping all her feelings and thoughts inside her head, never spouting them off at random times. She is very serious as everything to keep the house going and family together falls on her.

This two are nothing alike at all.

For more on Elinor Dashwood, go to On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas

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Gemma Jones is Madam Pomfrey in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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In Deathly Hallows, Madame Pomfrey is a great healer. She is able to fix everything, from Hermione’s cat appearance to Harry’s broken arm. She is always in charge, cool, collected, and knows just what to do.

Mrs. Dashwood on the other hand is nowhere near the level of Madame Pomfrey. Truth be told we never see how she acts pre-grief, but after the death of her husband she lost in it. Besides the grief/loss, she is also being kicked out of her home, losing everything she owned, forced to move, and is put in conditions she never thought she would be a part of. She does not cope well, both living in the past and doing nothing; leaving everything for her daughter Elinor to take care of.

For more on Mrs. Dashwood, go to A Family Affair

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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Charlotte Palmer in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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So as Dolores Umbridge she is evil incarnate. I mean the writing lines in your own blood? How horrifying! How does someone like this work around children? Seriously! And keeping Moody’s eye on her door like some great prize!!! What a, I can’t even say the words…just

Jerk

She deserved everything she got from the centaurs.

As Palmer though, she isn’t mean or evil, she is just very loud and prattles on ALL the time. You know the type. She is kind of annoying but you love her relationship with her husband (played by Hugh Laurie)

Mr. Palmer

Anyways, even though Charlotte can be annoying and never stops talking, much better than ugh, Umbridge.

Ugh

Ugh

 

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Robert Hardy as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter Series and Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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Now as Fudge, he’s a horrible man. He chooses to be a little ostrich and keep his head in the sand rather than deal with the issues that are abounding. He is also extremely awful in the way he tries to turn everyone against Harry. He even brings dementors to the school and tries to kill Buckbeak. He then becomes so afraid of losing his job as Ministry of Magic that he goes crazy trying to make Dumbledore the villain.

While some find Sir John annoying I think he is a really nice guy. He can be a bit intrusive and a gossip, involving himself in other’s affairs (primarily Colonel Brandon’s love life), but he still has a kind and gentle heart. When the Dashwood’s are kicked out of their home, he lets them his cottage for a price far under what it is worth. Not only does he do that, but he invites them over to his house daily, supplying them with food and comfort far beyond their current abilty. He is fiercly loyal and caaring for his friends; standing by Colonel Brandon even when others say things about his rash behavior of breaking up the planned outing. He even forgives Willoughby after the whole Marianne issue. Just an extremely kind man (who definitely deserves more love from the Austen community).

These two guys couldn’t be more different.

For more on Sir John Middleton, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys

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Ciaran Hinds is Aberforth Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) and as Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion (1995)

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Now in the films we don’t really get a sense of who Aberforth is. He only comes in at the very end; helping Ron, Hermione, and Harry sneak into Hogwarts for the final battle. He ends up joining the last fight, even though he promised he would do nothing to help his brother as he still blames him for his sister’s death.

Similar to Persuasion, his character Fredrick Wentworth also knows how to hold a grudge. He is upset at Anne for having rejected him all those years ago, but unlike Albus, forgives, moves forward, and the two reconcile.

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For more on Captain Frederick Wentworth, go to A Letter of Love: Persuasion (2007)

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Fiona Shaw was Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Croft in Persuasion (1995)

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Now here are two characters that couldn’t be more different. As Aunt Petunia, Shaw is just horrible. Petunia is a mean, jealous, cruel, abusive woman. She has always been jealous that her sister Lily had the powers and she had none, therefore unable to go to Hogwarts. She unleashes all her unhappiness and issues on her nephew; locking him in a cupboard, practically starving him, letting her child bully him, etc.

Mrs. Croft on the other hand totally rocks! She and the Admiral’s relationship is so cute as you can see how much the two love each other, so much that Mrs. Croft refuses to stay on land when her husband is at sea, but travels with him as she hates for them to be parted. She also cares deeply about her brother and wants him to be happy. She is so kind to Anne as well and becomes a dear friend to all.

For more on Mrs. Croft, go to Rational Creatures: Anne Elliot, Mrs. Croft, Mrs. Clay, & Louisa Musgrove

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Sophie Thompson as Mafalda Hopkirk in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (2010) and as Mary Musgrove in Persuasion (1995) AND Miss Bates in Emma (1996) AKA the Gwyneth Paltrow Version

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Now in the film Malfida Hopkirk doesn’t play as large a role as she did in the book. In the film she seems to be really a nothing character, only being there so Hermione has someone to change into when she, Harry, and Ron are breaking into the Ministry of Magic.

In Persuasion Thomas plays Mary Elliot-Musgrove, Anne’s sister and horribly whiny and annoying. She’s kind of like the Mrs. Bennet of Persuasion. She is the younger sister and has always been jealous of her older and pretty sister Elizabeth, and the nice, quiet, sensitive, sister, Anne. Whenever one of them gets attention she just goes on and on whining about how unfair it is.

Person hate talking

Ugh I hate her. I’ll be writing on her more later.

Miss. Bates is a spinster, poor, and dependent on the help of others. She lives through her niece Jane, which subsequently means she will not stop talking about her. Everything makes her think of her, she continuously talks about how perfect she is, going on and on. But unlike Mary, Miss Bates is a nice woman, just lonely and unhappy. But you do understand why Emma has a low tolerance for Jane when she does come to live there.

For more Mary Musgrove, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

For more on Miss Bates, go to Should We Pity Miss Bates or Strive to Be Her?

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Guy Henry plays Pius Thicknesse in the Harry Potter Series and John Knightley in Emma (1996) AKA The Kate Beckinsale Version

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Now Pius played a bigger role in the books than they give him in the films. In fact, you hardly spend anytime seing him the film, making him pretty nonexistent.

Guy Henry also plays John Knightly in the Emma (1996) and John is so annoying. He doesn’t care what anyone says only what he thinks is right. He is such a wet blanket and AWFUL I have a whole ‘nother post on him.

Pride&PrejudiceDarcypunch

For more on John Knightly, go to Take a Chill Pill John Knightley

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Mark Williams played Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter Series along with Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility (2008)

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As Arthur Weasley, we have the pure, albeit poor, wizard. He is deeply interested in muggle things and always asking questions on what is the purpose of this item or that one.-just utterly adorable!

You're so cute

But don’t let that fool you. He still is a butt-kicking member of the Order of the Phoenix and will do anything in his power to take down Voldemort. He also is a great father to not only his kids, but to Harry and Hermione as well.

Now Sir John is kind and adorable but as said earlier, often people find him annoying.  He can be a bit intrusive and a gossip, involving himself in other’s affairs (primarily Colonel Brandon’s love life). Now in this remake they toned it down from how active he was in the book and 1995 version, causing his mother-in-law to be the one who really is the busybody.

He is fiercly loyal and caring for his friends and just one of the sweetest guys ever.

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Michael Gambon replaced the original Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter Series and is Mr. Woodhouse in Emma (2009)

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As Dumbledore, Gambon plays the extremely powerful professor, who has a ton of secrets and never reveals them to Harry Potter-even though most of them have to do with him. Before the death of his sister he was wild, opinionated, rash-but after he lost her, he became calm, cautious, tempered, and loved by all the students.

As Mr. Woodhouse, he’s completely different. After he lost his wife to illness, he shrunk as a man. He became very fearful; everything could cause issues and pain, like cake, going outside, etc.

The two are similar in that tragic deaths in their past changed them significantly, but unlike Mr. Woodhouse, Dumbledore isn’t afraid of the world, but afraid of himself.

For more on Mr. Woodhouse, go to All By Myself

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All this resulting in:

SnapeProfTrewlaney

and

MadamePomfreyProfessorTrew

and

fatladycornileusfudge

and

fatladyDoloresUmbridge

and

SnapeFudge

and

dumbledorehopkirk

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For more Sense and Sensibility, go to A Sense of Sense and Sensibility

For more Emma, go to Obviously You Never Met George Knightly

For more on Persuasion, go to Opening With…

For more Harry Potter, go to When In Doubt

Language of Love: Love Actually (2003)

Romantic Moment #1

Love Actually

Love Actually (2003)

So Love Actually is the first of those holiday inspired films that include a huge cast of stars who all have their own plotline, but are in actuality all connected to each other. You know films like Valentine’s Day & New Year’s Eve. Well this one takes place at Christmas, and even though this post is celebrating V-day, it is a perfect one to put on the list.

Now this film is even more complex in relationships than He’s Just Not That Into YouThere is Billy Mack, aging rock star trying to get back in the limelight. Peter just married Juliet, but his best friend Mark  is secretly in love with Juliet but has said nothing to honor his friend. Jamie, (who is friends with Peter, Julie, & Mark), had his last girlfriend cheat on him with his brother. He goes to France where he gets a Portuguese housekeeper that he develops feelings for. Harry is the direcctor of a design studio and married to Karen. He gets a new assistant, Mia, and thinks about stepping out on his wife. (Mia is friends with Mark.) Karen’s brother, David, has just begun his time as Prime Minister and develops feelings for Natalie, a girl who works for him. Daniel, friend of Karen, has just lost his wife and is raising his stepson. His stepson develops feelings for a girl and Daniel tries to help him win her heart. Sarah, (friend of Jamie, Peter, Julie, & Mark and employee of Harry) has feelings for Karl but her mentally ill brother, Michael, seems to throw a wrench in her plans. Colin, who hit on Mia, is tired of striking out with English women and journeys to America. John and Judy are body doubles for actors who meet at work.

Still confused?

Still confused?

Anyways so the story line that got on this countdown is Jamie & Aurélia’s. Jamie is a writer and uttery heartbroken when he discovers that his girlfriend was cheating on him with his own brother. He decides to go away to a little cottage in France to work and get away from it all. While there his landlady hires a Portuguese housekeeper, Aurélia, for him. Despite the fact that Aurélia can not speak any English and Jamie knows no Portuguese, the two form a bond and a spark comes to light.

When Jamie goes back to the UK, he starts taking a Portuguese language class so that he might return and share his feelings with Aurélia. On Christmas Eve, he leaves to find her and let her know how he feels.

With the help of Aurélia’s dad, Jamie is able to locate her and proposes to her (in Portuguese). We find out that Aurélia has been learning English in hopes that Jamie would come back.

So romantic

So romantic

Aww! Sooooo cute!

25 Films of Christmas

So last year I tried to do 12 Posts of Christmas, unfortunately that didn’t work out as I got sick and involved in Christmas-y activities. However, this year I decided to do some thing in the vein of the Chinese New Year and Saint Patrick’s Day posts. Instead of posting everyday, a countdown of 25 of my fav Christmas Films. Now these aren’t my top 25, but I randomly picked them and then rearranged them in the order of how I love them.

Holly

25) Love, Actually (2003)

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This has a complex storyline as the film has multiple paths. There is Billy Mack, aging rock star trying to get back in the limelight, redoing Christmas songs.  Mark is secretly in love with his best friend’s girl Juliet but says nothing to honor his friend. Jamie flees to France after his last girlfriend cheats on him with his brother, there  he falls in love with his Portuguese housekeeper. Harry, the direcctor of a design studio, contemplates having an affair with his assistant Mia. David has just become Prime Minister and develops feelings for a girl who works for him, Natalie. Daniel has just lost his wife and is raising his stepson.  Sarah has feelings for Karl but her mentally ill brother, Michael, seems to throw a wrench in her plans. Colin is tired of striking out with English women and journeys to America. John and Judy are body doubles for actors who meet at work.

Why it’s Great: It has Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Martin Freeman , etc; need I say more? The Colin Firth storyline is really good, in fact keep an eye open for it’s reappearance this Feb.

Holly

24) Twas’ the Night Before Christmas (1974)

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Santa isn’t coming this year as he has received an hurtful letter. A mouse and the clockmaker try and figure out what is wrong and fix it. The mouse’s son is the one that caused the issue and they are trying to get him to say he is sorry so that all can have Christmas.

Why it’s Great: They used to show this every year on the 25 Days of Christmas on abcFamily. It’s a great spin on a classic tale.

Holly

23) Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the film based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. Frank is a conman who pretends to be a teacher, pilot, doctor, and lawyer all before his 21st birthday. He steals millions of dollars in forged checks. Tom Hanks is the FBI Agent, Carl, that tracks him through the years, finally  catching up with him.

Why it’s Great: While this isn’t your typical Christmas film, Christmas plays a significant part as it is the time that the two intersect throughout the years in the film. DiCaprio and Hanks are amazing in this film as they are such subperb actors. It’s a great thing to watch.

Holly

22) Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)

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This film takes place in the midst of Beauty and the BeastThe Beast hates Christmas, because in this version that’s when the Enchantress came and turned him into a Beast. Belle is trying to bring back Christmas to the castle and help heal the Beast’s soul, but has to contend with an evil organ played by Tim Curry. For more Beauty and the Beast posts go here.

Why it’s Great: While the song “As Long As There’s Christmas” is no “Be Our Guest” or “Tale as Old as Time“, it is extremely adorable. Plus Tim Curry as the villian? You just know its going to be awesome. 😀

Holly

22) Frosty the Snowman (1969)

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Short film based on the song about the magic hat that brings a snowman to life and his adventures with the town’s kids.

Why it’s Great: Its Frosty! How can you not love him?

Holly

21) Babes in Toyland (1986)

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Drew Barrymore is a young girl who is not quite in the Christmas’ spirit. There is a huge storm and she gets into an accident waking up in Toyland. Mary Contrary (who looks just like her sis in ‘real life’) is being forced to marry the evil Barnaby Barnacle. She really loves Jack Be Nimble (played by Keanu Reeves and looks like her sis’ bf in ‘real life’.) Barrymore tries to stop the wedding and Barnaby’s atempt to conquer Toyland. They have to find the toymaker and get his help in saving the land.

Why it’s Great: This Wizard of Oz-esque film is adorable as it brings all the nursery rhymes you learned as a child to life.

Holly

20) Edward Scissorhands (1990)

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A young creation, Edward Scissorhands, is discovered by an Avon saleslady, Peg. His creator was going to give him actual hands, but was not able to finish Edward before he died. The Avon saleslady takes him home to her place and has him join the family. Edward falls for the daughter Kim, played by Winona Ryder. Edward quickly becomes liked by all as he uses his scissors to create lawn art and cute hairstyles. After he is caught burglarizing a house, for Kim and her jerk boyfriend, he finds himself ostracized. In the end Edward is able to find love, his place, create more art, and make it snow.

Why it’s Great: First of all it has Vincent Price, in fact this was his last film before he died. It also is a super cute story, even though it has its sad moments. The last section of the film deals with Christmas, as Peg and her family throw a huge Christmas party that no one comes to as they are shunning the fam. I love Winona Ryder’s white dress in this film, I really want one for myself. It’s also really cute at the end when Edward makes the ice sculptures, and snow.

Holly

19) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Our second Tim Burton film on our list. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, and the most popular guy in Halloweentown is disatisfied with his life. He journeys out of town and discovers doors to other holiday towns. When he goes into Christmasland he decides that he will take over Christmas and improve it. Of course nothing turns out quite as he plans.

Why it’s Great: Its an amazing film, the music, characters, etc. Of course best lines, “why does nothing turn out as I plan“. My favorites are “What’s This?” and “Sally’s Song“.

Holly

18) While You Were Sleeping (1995)

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Sandra Bullock works at a toll booth and everyday she watches the distinguished (and my opinion ugly) Peter Gallagher and has developed a crush on him. One day he is attacked and injured and she saves his life. At the hospital she is mistaken for his fiancé and soon brought into the family. She falls in love with them, along with Gallagher’s brother, played by Bill Pullman. Gallagher wakes up to find himself massively confused, and Bullock finds herself engaged to the wrong brother. Everything works out on the end as all is righted.

Why it’s Great: Well first of all it has Bill Pullman :D. Secondly it is a hilarious film, just like all of Bullock’s comedys. I mean the amnesia scene is to die for. The proposal scene with Bill Pullman is so an adorable and romantic!

Holly

17) The Holiday (2006)

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Two women who have  suffered horrible breakups switch homes for the Christmas holiday. Iris, Kate Winslet, in England goes to California, and befriends an elderly neighbor and falls in love with a Hollywood movie theme writer (played by Jack Black). Amanda, Cameron Diaz, in California, moves to England and falls for Iris’ brother, Jude Law, widower with two kids.

Why it’s Great: Its an absolutely adorable idea and the couples match up are perfect. Of course the most points go to the sexy dad, Jude Law. 😀

Holly

16) Nestor: The Long- Eared Donkey  (1977)

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Nestor is a donkey born with extremely long ears. In the vein of Dumbo, Nestor is constantly picked on and bullied for being so different. An angel encourages him that he was born that way for a reason and has a special purpose in life. Eventually, Nestor finds himself being the donkey that Mary rides in to Bethlehem, protecting her and the unborn Baby Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is such a cute movie!!!

Holly

15) The Little Drummer Boy (1968)

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This film is based on the song, “Carol of the Drum” or “The Little Drummer Boy“. A little boy and his animals end up becoming slaves to a circus, being treated cruelly by all. He escapes and one of his animals is injured. He meets up with the Three Magi’s caravan and goes with them to see Baby Jesus. His animal is healed and he plays his drum as thank you to Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is one of the most adorable classic cartoons that they used to show every year on abcFam.

Holly

14) Jack Frost (1979)

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Jack Frost has fallen for a human girl and makes a deal that will allow him be human. He is until Spring to win her over and must also gain a horse and bag of gold in order to remain human. Being a human is harder than he thought as he has no idea the social niceties and has to contend with Kubla Khan, the evil dictator.

Why it’s Great: Jack is amazing, much better than the gold knight the girl end sup with ;(. Makes you knida wish he was real. This cartoon also has great musical numbers as “Jack Frost” and “Just What I Always Wanted“. I also loves Kubla Khan’s little dummy that he talks to.

Holly

13) The Godfather (1972)

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Such an awesome film! The Godfather is a story about the Italian mafia in the 1940s. This specific sect is overseen by Don Corleone. He has three sons; Alfredo (played by John Cazale), Santino (James Caan), and Michael (Al Pacino); and one daughter, Connie (Talia Shire). Santino is next in line to be godfather, skipping over his brother Fredo. Unlike his siblings, Michael wants nothing to do with his father’s  business, instead wanting to live a “legal” life. When Don Corleone is shot by a rival, it changes everyone’s plans as they are all spiraled down a new path.

Why it’s Great: Two words, The Godfather. There is no way to describe how amazing this film is, well actually You’ve Got Mail does a pretty good job.  You just have to check it out for yourself. This film isn’t a Christmas movie really, but does have a Christmas scene, so it counts. It’s funny, but even though this doesn’t have Thanksgiving, we usually watch it then in my family.

Holly

12) The Nativity Story (2006)

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A retelling of the birth of Christ from Mary and Joseph’s point of view. It shows the struggle that Joseph goes through, contemplating what to do about pregnant Mary. Then the two have to travel far and long to Bethlehem.

Why it’s Great: They tried to keep the story as historical accurate as possible and do such a great job. It really tries to bring the biblical text to life and get you to empathize with the two and the situations they are going through.

Holly

11) The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)

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A mini-series based on C.S. Lewis’ beloved books. Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, enter a wardrobe and a magical world. The four find themselves caught in a battle between the evil White Witch and the Godly Lion, Aslan.

Why it’s Great: C.S. Lewis’ great book = Great movie. Enough said! While Christmas isn’t the biggest part of the plot, the group do run into Father Christmas who gives them gifts they need to win the fight against the White Witch. Peter gets a sword and shield, Susan a bow and horn that will always bring help, and Lucy a dagger and a healing substance to help the wounded. While this movie was remade by Disney, it doesn’t hold a candle to this mini-series, as the series while not having the great special effects, is almost exactly the book.

Holly

10) White Christmas (1954)

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Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are WWII veterans who became a song and dance duo. The two meet up with a pair of singing sisters and both head off to the same ski lodge. There they discover their old general is the owner, and may lose the place from lack of buisness and snow. The two come up with an idea to house a show there with the sisters. Bing Crosby starts a romance but the two break it off due to some misunderstandings. In the end they are all reunited and have a great number honoring the General and singing the title, White Christmas.

Why it’s Great: First of all Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye! Secondly this has some truly great musical numbers; such as “Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army“, “Sisters“, along with the title song. It’s a silly and zany film, you’ll love it.

Holly

8) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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The Peanut gang try to figure out the true meaning of Christmas amid all the insanities of the holiday.

Why it’s Great: It’s Peanuts! Snoopy is adorable as ever and Linus gives a great true meaning of Christmas speech.

Holly

9) A Garfield Christmas (1987)

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Garfield and the gang head out to the Arbuckle farm for some old fashioned country Christmas

Why it’s Great: Its from the good Garfield cartoons I grew up watching as a kid. That hilarious fat cat always makes the season brighter. Go here to watch.

Holly

7) A Christmas Story (1983)

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Adult Ralphie narrates the time when his nine-year-old self desired a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas and all the trouble he went through to try and get it. Throughout the time leading up to Christmas, he, his family, and friends are involved in all kinds of crazy antics. The father wins a female leg lamp, Ralphie’s friend Flick gets his tongue stuck to a pole, his brother won’t eat unless pretending to be a pig, Ralphie gets a pink-footed bunny pajamas, etc. It all leads up to one crazy Christmas.

Why it’s Great: This movie is extremely hilarious. Pretty much every scene I mentioned there and more. It is  is truly a classic piece. You gotta add it to your Christmas countdown. 😀

Holly

6) The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

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The Bishop is trying to get a new cathedral built along with all his other duities. Feeling stressed out, he calls out to God for help, and is answered by angel Dudley, Cary Grant. Dudley helps out, that is by spending all his time with the Bishop’s wife. Through this the Bishop is finally able to see what really matters in his life and the true meaning of Christmas.

Why it’s Great: Uh…Cary Grant! It also has such funny actics as when we see Grant’s angel powers. I mean I wish I had his tree decorating skills. This film also proves the old adage, “be careful what you wish for” is something that one should think on. 😀 For more thoughts on this film go here.

Holly

5) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

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The Grinch hates Christmas and decides to destroy and end the holiday, ruining the holiday for all the Whos. However, the Grinch finds out what the true spirit of christmas is, whether he wants to or not.

Why it’s Great: The Grinch was always my fav Dr. Seuss book. I just love the story so much! I remember that one year I ate a ton of a certain type of cereal and sent away for a special Grinch keychain. I lost it though in one of our moves.  This film is also awesome because it has the amazing Boris Karloff narrating, and has one of the all-time best songs, You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.

Holly

4) Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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A Macy’s department store Santa believes himself to be the “real” Santa Claus. His insistence lands him in jail and then in a huge court case to determine whether or not Santa is real

Why it’s Great: It’s an amazing film about faith, believing in the intangible, and the true meaning of Christmas.  Edmund Gwenn is a perfect Santa, Maureen O’Hara is lovely as always, and it stars a young Natalie Wood.  It has amazing scenes as Santa turns Macy’s into a store of goodwill, taking down the psychologist, and pretty much just being adorable. Best scene ever is the court scenes when they prove Santa’s real. 😀

Holly

3) Holiday Inn (1942)

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Bing Crosby plays a burnt out singer and moves to Connecticut to buy a country home and live a simple life. It soon becomes too much for him and he turns it into a hotel, open only on holidays. (Sounds like my type of place) Wannabe star Linda Mason starts to work for him and the two fall in love. Unfortunately, Crosby’s old partner and womanizer, played by Fred Astaire, comes back into the picture and tries to break up the two. It involves a lot of zany romance and comical moments.

Why it’s Great: The holiday songs are amazing; White Christmas, Happy Holidays, (Come to) Holiday Inn, Be Careful It’s My Heart, I Can’t Tell a Lie, etc. The wonderful partnership of Bing and Fred make this movie really great! 😀 A great watch. Now for some fun facts. This is the first time “White Christmas” was performed in a film.  The same set was used for the film White Christmas which also stars Bing. The hotel chain Holiday Inn got their name from this movie.

Holly

2) The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

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Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan work together in a shop in Budapest and can’t stand each other. Unbeknownst to them they are actually the pen pals that they are falling in love with. Stewart realizes this and does everything he can to show Sullivan that he is the man she loves and the two end up happily ever after. It was later remade as You’ve Got Mail.

Why it’s Great: JIMMY STEWART! That pretty much says it all. I love this film so, so, so, much, there are no words to describe how great it is. So romantic! ❤

Holly

1) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a troubled man. An angel, Clarence, is given the story of George’s life and sent down from heaven to help him. George has always dreamed of leaving his hometown and traveling the world. Unfortunately, no matter what he does he continues to be stuck there. He marries and helps the town in many ways, but doesn’t realize all the good he does. However, when a large sum of money goes missing and everything in his life seems to be going wrong he wishes he was never born at all. Clarence helps him by granting his wish and showing him how ugly Bedford Falls would be without him.

Why it’s Great: This is one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart films. There’s a reason why this film is played every year, besides the fact that it is JIMMY STEWART! It is a great movie that really shows you how even the smallest acts can make a difference in people’s life. If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on this film go here. This film always makes me think of my dad. He has done so much for people and can get frustrated as he doesn’t feel like his has accomplished much. “Clarence: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

So Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a great day full of family, friends, and fun. 😀