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'Sense and Sensibility
'm trying to imagine Sense
and Sensibility's two Dash-
wood sisters, Elinor (Emma
Thompson) and Marianne
(Kate Winslet), on some tabloid
television talk show. They've
been mourning how their capri-
cious boyfriends have dumped
them — Edward (Hugh Grant)
due to a premature commitment
to another woman and Willough-
by (Greg Wise) for fear of losing
his inheritance. Lovesick Mari-
anne gushes, "To love is to burn."
Reserved Elinor constrains such
feelings. "Think like him, esteem
him, like him," she advises. Sud-
denly these beaus are flung on
stage and forced to confront their
lovelorn damsels, who admonish
them with great rage. Cathartic
tears overflow. The audience,
host, and victimized guests are
all leavened by the proceedings.
It's safe to say that the tabloid
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talk show would do a grievous his sister, thus bending sharply,
injustice to this material when if not breaking, his father's dy-
compared to the deeply felt emo- ing request. This satiric scene
tions of director Ang Lee's mar- clearly illuminates the distinc-
velously realized film adaptation tion between social class and
of Jane Austen's early 1800s nov- moral character.
In other supporting
el Sense and Sensibility,
roles, Alan Rickman as
where a gentleman of
the affecting and gal-
seemingly noble charac-
lant Colonel Brandon is
ter and disposition can
captivating. Mrs. Jennings
with sudden ignominy dis-
card the woman he loves for fear (Elizabeth Spriggs) and Sir John
of loss of title, privilege and in- Middleton (Robert Hardy) por-
tend the gossipy socialites who
The evocative cinematography will eventually trivialize the rul-
by Michael Coulter features ing class. The littlest Dashwood
sumptuous green countryside sister, Margaret, (Emile Fran-
dotted with grazing sheep, state- cois) who yearns for the geo-
ly cottages by the sea, and, of graphic atlas that will open the
course, social occasions peopled world to her, is played with
with finely dressed men and charming innocence.
First time screenwriter
women of stature and breeding.
The camera work clearly differ- Thompson is superb in her role
entiates the class structure of the as Elinor, the elder sister. Her
characters as when Fanny Dash- doleful eyes betray the longing
wood (Harriet Walter) looks im- in her heart. When she breaks
periously down from the upstairs down in heart-wrenching sobs
railing at the quarreling sisters near the end, one is undeniably
moved and joyously astonished
On the villainous end of the by her character's reward. This
social spectrum, Fanny is greed literary circumstance is poetic
and snideness personified. Fan- justice at its best.
ny is presented wraithlike in ap-
pearance, austere, cast in a pale
blue light. In the opening scenes,
she harangues her weak-kneed
husband to virtually disinherit
'Tom and Huck'
efore the Little Rascals;
Dennis the Menace; and
Kevin, the Home Alone
kid, there was Tom
Sawyer, the original heart-of-
gold prankster from American
Authored by Mark Twain, The
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
chronicled the escapades of Tom
Sawyer, Huck Finn, Becky
Thatcher and the citizens of
Hannibal, Miss., during the Civ-
il War era. Amidst the high
jinks, Twain's novel dealt with
serious issues like racism, death
and loyalty. Disney Pictures'
new release, Tom and Huck, hits
many of the highlights from Tom
Sawyer's most famous adven-
ture but avoids the meaty issues.
Call it Mark Twain Lite.
The story line is familiar by
now. Tom Sawyer (Jonathan
Taylor Thomas) and Huck Finn
(Brad Renfro) are the young ras-
cals of their small country town,
Mr. Mischief himself, Jonathan Taylor
Thomas stars as Tom Sawyer in the new
adventure film Tom and Mick.
test when an innocent
operating just this side of
man is accused of the
delinquency. After acci-
crime. Things are com-
dentally witnessing "Injun
Joe" murder Doc Robinson, the plicated further by death threats
boys take an oath never to reveal and the hunt for pirate treasure.
In between the moments of
what they have seen. Friendship
and loyalty are soon put to the suspense, there are the obliga-