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« Hertzfeldt's Return to "World of Tomorrow" | Main | Yes No Maybe So: "Phantom Thread" »
Monday
Oct232017

Beauty vs Beast: Sisterly Sensibilities

Jason from MNPP here using this week's "Beauty vs Beast" to wish a happy birthday to one of our favorite directors, the great Ang Lee. In a strange coincidence I spent some of this weekend talking Ang on Twitter even though I hadn't realized it was about to be his birthday today, so I'd say Fate chose this week's contest. And because more than anything a battle between actresses livens you folks up, let's face down the Sisters Dashwood of Ang's 1995 classic Sense & Sensibility.

And no before anyone asks I don't think Kate Winslet or Emma Thompson to be beastly in any manner. But seeing as the film itself pits their two ways of existing at odds with one another for the majority of its run-time (only to eventually decide, with fine wisdom, that the sisters could clearly stand to learn a little from one another) it doesn't seem completely far-fetched to pitch them against one another here. They are, for all their adoration of one another, each other's main antagonists once the who's who of romance falls away.

PREVIOUSLY Even though Angela Lansbury's original Manchurian Candidate performance won somewhat decisively over Meryl Streep's in the remake (she took 74% of the vote) it was a real battle in the comments. Said Jono:

"I am surprised this never came up before. I voted for Meryl because Angela will get more votes, and I love both performances. The Demme version is kind of underrated - everyone in it is uniformly great. But the original with Angela is impeccable."

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Reader Comments (19)

This was the wrong matchup. You should have done Team Willoughby versus Team Colonel Brandon. Lots of +/- beauty and +/- beast there.

October 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrevity

s&s - one of my all time favorite films.

October 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCharles O

I would've gone with Col. Brandon. Wiloughby was a chode.

October 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Charles O - Exactly what I was going to say!

October 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I love Winslet but there is just no going against Thompson in period pieces. She is always flawless.

October 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

This is just cruel since both women and performances are impeccable but I went Team Elinor since for much of the running time Marianne is often foolishly impulsive. Now if it was the ghastly Fanny versus either of the girls it would have been a snap.

October 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Thanks for the pull quote. I knew Angela would win but I really recommend people check out both versions. The Demme version is especially timely now with Drumpf. I hope Meryl and Angela both deliver in the Mary Poppins sequel, since that is a moviegoer miracle that they will both appear in one film.

October 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJono

I forgot that KW used to have a different face. Emma for writing it!

October 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

I'm surprised Emma is winning. Don't get me wrong, she's really damn great in this but to me this is a classic Winslet performance. Ethereal, full of life, vividly real and you can't take your eyes off of her. It's no wonder in just her second film she got her huge breakthrough and we knew we had something truly special in our hands.

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve_Man

The best adaptation of Jane Austen for the big screen by far. Being american, my favorite book and play writers are british. They produced the best in this department and Jane Austen is one of the best. One factor in favor of the excellence of their actors is the superb quality of the writers. If you have the greatest text, the greatest characters, you will have the greatest actors. Apassionate fan of Kate since always, but never a major fan of Emma in her early years, like her more now and she would never be in my most beautiful actresses list - but in Sense and Sensibility she`s just gorgeous!

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGiovanni

Yay for Emma leading! It helps that I've always found Elinor vastly more compelling than Marianne as a character. They're both wonderful, but this I think is my favorite Emma performance. And yes, bonus for penning the screenplay. I still go back to her screenplay diaries (which *everyone* should read) when I want a pick-me-up.

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

This is an Empire-waisted Sophie's Choice! I'm going to take a turn around the grounds until I can better control my emotions. The cruelty!

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom M

"The best adaptation of Jane Austen for the big screen by far."

Clueless would like to have a word with you.

Emma Thompson is just perfect in this film.

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Never been a fan of Thompson in this and actually is not my fav among Ang Lee's, even if it's lovable. Winslet and Rickman are MVPs

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermirko

I love, love, love this movie, and the entire cast is splendid.

Kate Winslet is fantastic, but I have to go with Elinor, since Emma Thompson has to reveal her feelings subtly, keeping herself reined in, in contrast to Marianne's emotional histrionics. It's the trickier role.

And hey, let's remember that Emma Thompson also won an Oscar for writing the screenplay!

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDoctor Strange

The best film of 1995!

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterÁngel Ramos

Suzanne,
Clueless gets pretty close! A real runner up. ; )

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGiovanni

Marianne gets my vote, I think Winslet did such a lovely job with her, but if anyone should be winning here it's Emma Thompson, screenwriter extraordinaire!

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

Well, Winslet's entrance at the piano is exquisite, as her face looks like a Boticelli come to life. But by the end she's lost so much of her youthful charm and picks the dreadfully dull Rickman (seriously, what is he doing in this movie?) that I have to go with Elinor, who's final moments are much more satisfying.

October 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

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