Actress Emma Thompson both wrote and stars in this adaptation of Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY--a novel that perceptively examines the social manners and laws of early-19th-century Britain. Set in the English countryside, the film follows the loves and heartaches of sisters Elinor (Thompson) and Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet). The two have extremely divergent approaches to life: Elinor represents "sense" and believes in behaving with propriety and thoughtfulness, while Marianne represents "sensibility" and basks in her own emotions. Both women, however, experience confusion when their lovers, seemingly on the verge of proposing marriage, spurn them.
For director Ang Lee, the film marks a break from his Father Knows Best trilogy, which examined the problems of the contemporary Taiwanese family. Many people questioned whether an Asian director could handle an English period film. Lee answered those questions with a gorgeous film that both captures the nuances of Austen's novel and proves that Lee is a first-rate director capable of tackling any material. Featuring Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman, among others, the stellar cast inspired Lee to flatteringly exclaim, "Can everyone in England act?"
Academy Awards Best Adapted Screenplay 1995 Emma Thompson British actress