Tag Archives: Sense and sensibility (1995)

Marianne Dashwood – A Romantic Heroine

18 Apr

Marianne’s abilities were, in many respects, quite equal to Elinor’s. She was sensible and clever; but eager in everything: her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation. She was generous, amiable, interesting: she was everything but prudent. The resemblance between her and her mother was strikingly great.

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‘Sense and Sensibility’ was Jane Austen’s first published work and is my favourite novel by Jane Austen. Both the movie Sense and Sensibility (1995) and the novel are amusing and interesting, a real nourishment for imagination. Even if you throw out the romance, you’re still left with witty dialogues, interesting Regency fashion, insight into social customs and daily life in Regency era. There’s something so exciting in imagining that perhaps there once was a Marianne Dashwood out there, with all her romantic adventures and sensibilities!

The character of Marianne Dashwood is probably the main reason why I love this book so much. I feel I can relate to her, much more than I can to Elizabeth Bennet, despite the general admiration and affection readers usually have for Miss Lizzy. I think Marianne is a very interesting character, a typical heroine of Romanticism. Embodying the ‘sensibility’ of the title, Marianne is spontaneous, impulsive, idealistic, excessively sensitive, amiable and generous; she’s everything but ‘sensible’. Marianne’s romantic and passionate nature has shaped her interests and hobbies, as well as her attitudes towards love and life; she loves reading poetry, playing pianoforte and singing, living passionately in general, long strolls, romantic adventures, and, keeping in touch with Romanticism, she loves nature. Like Marianne, I am exceedingly romantic, because I’ve listened to Chopin’s Nocturnes one too many a time, read too many Victorian novels, and I daydream too much.

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No voice divine the storm allay’d,
No light propitious shone;
When, snatch’d from all effectual aid,
We perish’d, each alone;
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelmed in deeper gulphs than he.

       The Castaway, 1799, lines 61–66 (William Cowper)

Marianne is particularly fond of William Cowper who is considered one of the forerunners of Romanticism. His thoughtful and emotional celebration of the beauty of nature was very appealing to Jane Austen herself. I think it’s very appropriate that they included a recitation of Cowper’s poem in the movie because it perfectly demonstrated the difference between two sisters, their worldviews and qualities they value. During discussions about Edward Ferrars, Marianne proclaimed: ‘I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own. He must enter in all my feelings; the same books, the same music must charm us both.

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Kate Winslet is the only Marianne Dashwood for me! She perfectly embodied Marianne’s romantic idealism, spontaneity, and passion for wild flowers and poetry! I have not doubted for a moment that who I’m watching on the screen is a real Marianne Dashwood coming to life. Even her appearance coincided with my own vision of Marianne! Kate’s appearance in the movie was pure embodiment of the word ‘romantic’; her sparkling eyes, golden curls and heart-shaped lips were all perfectly suitable for the image of a romantic heroine.

Every romantic heroine needs a romantic hero. Marianne’s first romantic adventure began the moment Mr Willoughby carried her to the house, in the rain, after she had sprained her ankle. The next morning he brought her wildflowers, and the two bonded over the shared love of poetry. Still, the story would have been too perfect if it had stopped there. Willoughby had secrets of his own. It seemed sad to me at first, but after finding about Willoughby’s immoral behavior and corruptible nature, I was delighted that he abandoned Marianne for I would not want a person like that to be her husband.

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Even though some, or rather, most of the readers have expressed disappointment on Marianne falling in love and marrying Colonel Brandon, I actually liked the ending. Willoughby seems a better partner for Marianne at first; he’s young, handsome and charming, but it is maturity and wisdom of Colonel Brandon that enabled him to deeply love and appreciate Marianne in a way Willoughby never could. It’s just my opinion though, perhaps somewhat shaped by the fact that Brandon was portrayed by Alan Rickman in the film, and I like him, and his voice.

In the end, Marianne realised that Colonel Brandon was very much capable of falling in love or inspiring love in someone else. I think it’s very romantic how he fell in love with Marianne at first sight, as she reminded him of his unforgotten love Eliza, without even hoping or expecting Marianne to return his feelings.

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William Shakespeare – Sonnet 116

16 Apr

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Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Best costumed movies

24 Apr

This is my list of the nine most memorable costumed movies. If I had put the tenth movie on the list it would be a mere flattery for I am very critical when it comes to costumes in movies. However, these movies proved to have amazing costumes worthy of being on the list.

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1. Jane Eyre (2011.)

I love the gothic and gloomy atmosphere of the movie, and costumes give the same impression. 1840s are my favourite decade of Victorian fashion so you must not be surprised that I relished looking at these somber coloured dresses, nice hairstyles and pretty bonnets.

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2. Gone with the wind (1939.)

Gone with the wind is a classic I’ve watched numerous times and I don’t really need to say why I love the costumes, just look at those frilled silk dresses in vivid colours, Southern belles in crinolines. Surprisingly for old-Hollywood movies, costumes are not too theatrical.

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3. Marie Antoinette (2006.)

This movie is an eye candy, and though the screenplay is not particularly interesting or accurate, dresses are indeed lavishing. They’re not over-the-top or overly decorated, and you can see how the fashion changes throughout Marie Antoinette’s years at Versailles.

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4. Sense and sensibility (1995.)

Although I’m not crazy about Regency fashion, I love the movie, the book, the characters and everything about it and costumes remind me of Directoire 1790s fashion which I am fond of because it looks like a transition between what would Marie Antoinette wear and Regency fashion.

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5. Les adieux a la rein (2012.)

When a watched this movies I felt like I’m watching something what really happened on 14. July 1789, it’s so accurate and interesting and everything is seen through Sidonie’s eyes. Though Duchess de Polignac wears an awful green dress which is unforgivable, all the other costumes are really beautiful and realistic.

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6. Wuthering Heights (1992.)

This is by far the best adaptation of Wuthering Heights; Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche are perfect in roles of Heathcliff and Cathy, the costumes are accurate and you can really see the difference what Cathy wears at home compared to more elegant dresses she wears at Thrushcross Grange.

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7. Young Victoria (2009.)

In this movies it’s interesting to see what the Queen would be wearing in her early years of reign (it also shown the transition from 1830s to 1840s fashion) because she was once young too.

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8. The Duchess (2008.)

This movie is not my particular favourite when it comes to screenplay, but the costumes are very nice indeed. It’s interesting to see the differences of Marie Antoinette’s and Georgiana’s wardrobe.

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9. Sweeney Todd (2007)

And finally Sweeney Todd; the movie I was in love with for years. All the costumes are so dark, gothic and so Tim Burton, but they don’t follow any specific decade of Victorian fashion. Though many of the dresses resemble 1840s style (another plus).

Of course, this is just my opinion, I’m sure there are many other nicely costumed movies such as Barry Lyndon and Marie Antoinette (1938).