Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA/United Kingdom, 1995. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Mirage Enterprises. Screenplay by Emma Thompson, based on the novel by Jane Austen. Cinematography by Michael Coulter. Produced by Lindsay Doran. Music by Patrick Doyle. Production Design by Luciana Arrighi. Costume Design by Jenny Beavan, John Bright. Film Editing by Tim Squyres.
Best-ever adaptation of a Jane Austen novel stars Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet as two radically different sisters, one reserved and private, the other boisterous and lively, together tackling the same problem: how to marry happily with a man they really love. Winslet is being courted by dashing Greg Wise, and Thompson is finding herself curiously attracted to her evil sister-in-law’s handsome brother (Hugh Grant). Naturally, since it is based on an Austen novel, there are many complications that work out just fine in the end, but thanks to Thompson’s intellectually stimulating screenplay, the obstacles are all heart stopping and the emotions between them very moving. Harriet Walter plays the sister-in-law with unapologetic zeal, and there is fine supporting work from Gemma Jones, Alan Rickman and a marvelous Elizabeth Spriggs, but the film really belongs to its two dynamite leads. Thompson’s reserved Elinor is heartbreaking to watch, and Winslet gives Maryann as much passion as she can muster from her wealth of talent.
Academy Award: Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actress (Emma Thompson); Best Supporting Actress (Kate Winslet); Best Cinematography; Best Costume Design; Best Original Score-Musical/Comedy
Berlin Film Festival Award: Golden Bear
Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture-Drama; Best Screenplay
Nominations: Best Actress-Drama (Emma Thompson); Best Supporting Actress (Kate Winslet); Best Director (Ang Lee); Best Original Score