An exquisitely detailed rendering of the acclaimed Jane Austen novel, and superbly adapted by Oscar-winning actress and star Emma Thompson (who scored an Oscar on her first try as a screenwriter), this look at social mores in 19th-century England actually seems more contemporary than many films of its ilk. Perfectly cast right down the line, the film benefits from clear, straightforward storytelling and the keen eye of director Ang Lee, whose past efforts, while set in different eras, show him to be immediately worthy of creating such a rich piece of work. Of all the faithful adaptations of Austen's sometimes fanciful books, this one seems to be the most accessible, especially on an emotional level, as it deals with humor and heartbreak with assurance and understanding. Best of all, the film breaks free of the stagnant characteristics that so many associate with period films. Sense and Sensibility enjoyed great success in its release, mostly because of its timeless ability to tap into the sympathies of modern audiences without insulting their intelligence or cheapening a great story for mass consumption.
by Jason Clark review