Isle of Wight What's On Guide: Events OnTheWight

Sense & Sensibility (U)

Sunday 19 2.30pmMarch


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Sense & Sensibility (U)



Possibly the best Jane Austen adaptation ever? Ang Lee directed and Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay for this Oscar-winning masterpiece. Ramshackle Cinema continues its Austen 200 Season with the classic, star-studded film of Sense & Sensibility to commemorate 200 years since the authoress's death.

The Ryde Lions will provide one of their splendid full afternoon teas afterwards, included in the ticket price, raising more money for Island good causes.

Tickets are £10 and it is essential to pre-book please as only 40 seats are available. Please call Judith on 875738 or email her on [email protected] to reserve seats.

Please note earlier start time! Doors will open at 2.00pm. The film will start at 2.30pm and end at approximately 4.50 pm, followed by afternoon tea.

Sense and Sensibility is the story of two sisters; sensible Elinor played by two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson and passionate, wilful Marianne (Kate Winslet). When their father dies, by law his estate must pass to the eldest son from his first marriage, forcing his current wife and daughters to find somewhere more primitive to live. With their sudden loss of fortune, the sisters’ chances of marriage seem doomed. Their well-intentioned suitors, played by Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant and Greg Wise are trapped by the strict rules of a society obsessed with financial and social status and the conflicting laws of desire.

“I might find it hard to live this down. My favourite film, a costume drama? A period romance? Jane Austen? With lead roles played by head-girl Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant in classic floppy-haired, shy-but-charming mode? What happened to Tarkovsky and Kiarostami? But I can’t help it: I know Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility is not challenging, I realise it has lots of bonnets, and that I should prefer Trainspotting, which came out in the same week early in 1996, but I’m extremely partial to this film.

One reason is the writing. Thompson spent five years wrestling with the screenplay, trying to stay tuned to Austen’s dry wit but also making a modern entertainment out of an easy-to-dismiss, over-familiar, will-they-or-will-they romance. Apparently, at an advanced stage, her computer crashed and she couldn’t retrieve the relevant file. A repairman couldn’t help, so she took the computer in a cab to Stephen Fry, who – boffin that he is – managed to rescue it.

Well done, him: this is an exceptional screenplay, crisply and skilfully done. (It won an Oscar, remember.) Thompson plays fast and loose with Austen, cutting huge chunks out of the novel, adding whole scenes; a mere six or seven lines from the book actually make it into the film. The final result of all that work is an appealing half-parody of a style, catering to a 20th-century audience but not assuming that its members have been lobotomised (Downton Abbey, anyone?). And a story that keeps its force as a study of class and money and character, but aims mostly for sheer pleasure – and to be funny.”

Paul Laity (The Guardian)

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