Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries by Emma Thompson

Sense and Sensibility is one of my all-time favorite movies. I think it is the most perfect Austen adaptation that has been put to film. It was therefore with much interest that I read The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries.

The introduction is written by Lindsay Doran, the producer of the film. The introduction was very interesting and told a great story of how Ms. Doran came to love Jane Austen and Sense and Sensibility in particular. She really wanted to put it to film and had the genius idea of having Emma Thompson write the screenplay. While Emma Thompson thought other Austen novels such as Emma and Persuasion would perhaps make better movies, Lindsay Doran was set on Sense and Sensibility.

It took many years, but Thompson wrote a great script that perfectly captured Austen’s wit in a screenplay format. The screenplay reads just like the film with no surprises. Great pictures are shown throughout.

Thompson’s diary has the day-to-day adventure of putting together the film. The most surprising fact was that the studio wanted to put out a novelization of the movie . . . which seems ludicrous when you have Jane Austen’s original masterpiece. Emma Thompson agreed and luckily that travesty never happened. It’s also amusing reading about how the movie was put together. It’s always funny to me that movie scenes are filmed completely out of sequence. So much depended on the weather and although it looked romantic, sounded horrible for Kate Winslet.

The Appendix also included a prize-winning letter written by Imogen Stubbs in the character of Lucy (Steele) Ferrars to Elinor some years after Sense and Sensibility. It was quite hilarious. I wish she would write a S&S spin-off about the later-day adventures of Lucy.

Overall, The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries is a wonderful read for a lover of the movie and film.

This is my fifth item item in the Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge.

Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library (although I think I need to buy a copy for myself!)


  1. I'm a fan of both Emma and the movie. This sounds great!

  2. I own this - one of my treasured Jane Austen inspired cinema books! You will respect Emma T. for staying true to JA's spirit - I could actually understand why it took Emma 10 years to finish the screenplay. The play is a lovely read on its own but when paired with the other extras and snippets, this is an irresistible buy!