Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The "Sense and Sensibility" Screenplay & Diaries

1995, first edition, from Newmarket Press
Emma Thompson
The "Sense and Sensibility" Screenplay & Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film
Bought new for $23.95
Hardcover in good condition

While not as enjoyable as the film, this is a good companion to it, offering behind-the-scenes glimpses from the screenwriter-star.  True, you won't find out absolutely everything-- Thompson is mum about her involvement with Greg Wise, who played Willoughby and whom she eventually married-- but she is generally refreshingly honest, and humble.  (She does mention Hugh Grant's arrest, and Gemma Jones's lewd and funny remark on the matter.)  My favorite irony is Ang Lee's vow to film "no more sheeps, never again sheeps," a decade before Brokeback Mountain.

I've read the book enough times that I don't enjoy it as much as I used to, although the snark about Morris dancing never gets old.  I was going to give it a B-, because there's too much screenplay and not enough diaries, but I think the photographs bump it up a notch.  It's probably best to read it after watching the movie, but before listening to the commentary by Thompson and producer Lindsay Doran, which adds details, like that the actor who played Robert Ferrars became Thompson's brother-in-law.

I'm using the "film criticism" tag since Thompson has observations about the making of this and other movies.

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