All right, Austen Book Club e-members! Here are the questions from Author Bee. We were/are to watch 2 movie adaptations of S&S, one of them being the '96 version. Who can turn down an excuse to watch Austen?!
The meeting will be Thursday, June 18th, so please submit answers by then! The answers do get shared at the actual physical meeting that takes place in Utah. But discussions can still be had here on my little Austen blog. I hope you'll join in!
1. Did watching more than one version increase your understanding of the story?
2. The character of Margaret is cut out of two of the four movie versions. What significance does she have to the story? Is she necessary? Which other characters were cut from the movie versions?
3. In the 1996 Ang Lee/Emma Thompson movie version, Willoughby first meets Marianne while he is on horseback. In the book, he meets her while on foot. What motive would Ang Lee (director) and Emma Thompson (screenwriter) possibly have for changing it to horseback? Did you like or dislike that he added the scene where the grieving Marianne walks in the rain to look at Combe Magna? What about the Atlas scene with Edward, Elinor and Margaret?
4. In the book, Willoughby is described as being the most handsome/sexy man. Did the movie versions you saw stay true to that description? Why or why not?
5. Is Mrs. Jennings more or less likable on screen compared to in the book?
6. The “Willoughby confession scene” was cut from the Ang Lee version of the movie. How significant for you is that scene to the overall plot?
7. Who do you think the unnamed informant is who ruins Willoughby's fun? Do any of the movie versions attempt to answer that question?
8. Do any of the movie versions give us any red flags that lead us to believe Willoughby might be a villain? As a viewer, would you want to see red flags or would you rather be drawn in by him, vicariously through Marianne?
9. Discuss the title. What does Sense mean? What does Sensibility mean? Who in the story embodies those qualities? (Think about Elinor, Marianne, Col. Brandon, Edward, Mrs. Dashwood, Fanny Dashwood, Willoughby, etc.) What are the advantages and disadvantages of both qualities? In the movie versions you saw were there visual symbols of the meaning of the title? Which versions are better at depicting this?
10. Which movie version is your favorite? After watching more than one version, did that opinion change?
11. In your opinion, which movie version is most like the book? Which individual actors best fit their character in age, appearance and disposition? Are there any other additional actors whom you would like to see play those parts?
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