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|S&S viewed again
Written by StephenB
(2/3/2013 6:37 a.m.)
..after many years I got the DVD of this cheap as a result of HMV's current firesale. I see that it was dramatised by the same Alexander Baron who did the Dalton/Clarke Jane Eyre around the same time. The pace is slow and the chopping into half hour episodes, in line with the then BBC practice for the Sunday tea time serial, a bit annoying. The production is stagey, but I was surprised pleasantly by how much was filmed outdoors, and without going to the rather overblown lengths of the wild coast setting of the 2008 version. I felt that the Willoughby in this version was more credible (weak rather than bad, whereas the 2008 one looks a complete cad from the start). Other characters who emerged better were Lady Middleton and John Dashwood, both being given more scope. In fact I thought John Dashwood's character very well shown up, well beyond the famous initial scene. The two leads of Elinor and Marianne are rather pallid for modern tastes, and I think it is unfortunate that the character of Margaret was written out completely. Marianne's declien to near death is handled well. But to me the central failure is the casting of Edward Ferrars, or at least the performance. Whereas High Grant in S&S2 was just too handsome, personable etc for the character, this version is just too stiff, formal, no life at all. It is totally impossible to see why Elinor should be in love with him.
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