The 1995 movie adaptation of Sense and Sensibility is maybe my favorite movie adaptation ever and is certainly in my top five movies of all time. I will watch it when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m wistful, when I’m tired. It makes my heart happy and is one of my go to tools in the self-care toolbox.
While I have read many Austen related books I had never poked around into books about the movie adaptations. Then in May of this year the existence of this book (and its availability in my library system) came to my notice and it went onto my request list immediately. Which, the timing was excellent because July and early August have just been brutal in my world and an evening with Emma Thompson, her diaries, the shooting script, and the movie itself seemed just a thing I deserved to give myself.
Which is exactly what I did. The book has a lovely introduction from the movie’s producer Lindsay Doran who shepherded the movie’s creation from thought to final product. I then flipped to the rear section of the book and read Thompson’s diary entries from the filming and enjoyed her wit and a peek behind the scenes. Then I pulled up the movie itself and read along with the shooting script sections (and the behind the scenes photos) while the movie played. What I noticed was the few places where obvious cuts had been made, and the places where it was much more scalpel like cutting, in some of what are now my favorite scenes. But what I was really struck with was how some of the best scenes on film come directly from the scene set-ups before dialog begins (I’m thinking specifically of Thompson’s Elinor watching Edward and Margaret out the window). A fine way to spend an evening, especially while home sick from work.