Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Director: Ang Lee

Writer: Emma Thompson (Screenplay) Jane Austin (Novel)

Starring: Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Tom Wilkinson, James Fleet, Harriet Walter, Gemma Jones


Plot: Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Perfect Period Piece


Story: Sense and Sensibility starts when Mr Dashwood (Wilkinson) dies leaving his inheritance to his son John (Fleet) by law, his wife Fanny (Walter) wants his second wife Mrs Dashwood (Jones) and the daughters Elinor (Thompson), Marianna (Winslet) and Margaret (Francois) to move out as soon as possible living off just the £500 a year.

As the family moves to a small cottage Elinor must leave the early feelings she has for Fanny’s brother Edward Ferrars (Grant). While in the cottage Elinor watches as Marianne gets courted by a couple of men Colonel Brandon (Rickman) and John Willoughby (Wise) who both could bring the family back to the high life.


Thoughts on Sense and Sensibility


Characters/PerformanceElinor Dashwood is the eldest sister of the family she falls for Edward but knows she can’t be with him because of her new social status, she also looks after the younger sisters. Marianne is the middle sister and the one easily led astray by her heart never being able to hide her feelings when it comes to love. Edward Ferrars is the kind quiet brother of Fanny who wants nothing more than a life away from the high society. Colonel Brandon is a middle-aged bachelor that has lived with a broken heart but does take a shine to Marianne, he does what he can to support her through her own heart break even if he has his own desire to marry her.

Performance wise, Emma Thompson is brilliant in the leading role as well as her work on the screenplay which won her an Oscar. Kate Winslet burst onto the scene with this role which has firmly put her into the minds of any film fan now. Hugh Grant is great through his supporting role and Alan Rickman shows he had the class to perform in any film role. We do have a good supporting cast of well-known British actors too that all perform well.

StoryThis is a Jane Austin novel, so let’s face it, I will never have read the novel in the first place, I am not the biggest fan of this era movies because I find the high society annoying to see how people used to act for money rather than love. Saying this I did enjoy watching the story unfold I found it showed just how frustrating the era in British history was and is one that can be respected by all film fans. We do have love, heartbreak and money but it also spends plenty of time watching over how things could be considered farfetched.

RomanceWe get to see the swings and roundabouts of love through the romance side of the story here but mostly focusing on potential heartbreak and lost love.

SettingsEach setting brings us into the time era perfectly making everything come off flawless throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t a film I would be re-visiting but it is one I can say is wonderfully made, written and performed throughout.


Overall: Brilliant period drama of a classic novel.





Blackball (2003)

logoDirector: Mel Smith

Writer: Tim Firth (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Kaye, James Cromwell, Alice Evans, Bernard Cribbins, Johnny Vegas, Vince Vaughn, Imelda Staunton, James Fleet


Plot: Cliff (Kaye) is a loud mouth, fingers up to the rules bowler who eventually get banned by his local club by old school bowler Ray (Cromwell). After hearing about this American sports agent Rick (Vaughn) helps changes Cliff’s ways to make the image of the bad boy of bowls, but at a cost. This leads him to team up with Ray to take on the old enemy from down under the Australians.  


Verdict: First the only Bowls film?

Story: Let’s face it a film about lawn bowls isn’t going to bring in a crowd without a good story. This has a good story that reflects the real world view on bowls, full of rules that are for older generation. Cliff represents the new young generation that wants to just give a sport a go his way because everything has always been against him. The story also shows that however big you become you should remember the people that were there when you first started. (7/10)


Actor Review: Paul Kaye – Cliff the young man from the wrong side of town or thinks because he is from the wrong side of town will never get a chance to play the game he loves. Good performance that he gets to have a lot of fun with. (8/10)


Actor Review: James Cromwell – Ray the champion bowler who knows the rulebook inside out and that has total respect from his fellow club members. Perfect choice for the role in Cromwell, as he can play this role without any effort. (9/10)


Actor Review: Alice Evans – Kerry, Ray’s daughter and Cliff’s love interest who gets caught up in their rivalry. This character doesn’t make too much sense but Alice plays it well. (7/10)


Actor Review: Johnny Vegas – Trevor Cliff’s best friend who he gets up to all sorts of trouble with, but their friendship gets tested by Cliff’s new found success. Vegas does what he does well and makes us have the laughs.  (8/10)


Actor Review: Vince Vaughn – Rick the sports agent who makes Cliff the star and saves bowls from cancellation on TV. This is one of the first times Vince played a quick talking wise arse which he is well known for now. (8/10)


Director Review: Mel Smith – Good direction throughout the film to make a nice entertaining comedy. (8/10)


Comedy: Not the most laugh out loud but good for a few laughs. (6/10)

Believability: This is based on a true story of a player who got banned for writing tosser on a score card. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Torquay makes a great setting for this film. (9/10)

Suggestion: It would be hard to talk someone into watching this but as I am from a family that has played bowls for my whole life I see more humour in certain parts of it. I think even if you think bowls isn’t a sport for you, you should give it a go you may enjoy it. (Try It)


Best Part: The dinner after Cliff gets banned

Worst Part: The rules.

Funniest Scene: The dinner scene.

Trivia: Johnny Vegas was the only cast member who knew how to bowl and he doesn’t do any.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No


Overall: British Bowls Comedy Fun

Rating 70