Monday, August 4, 2014

Alan Rickman Reel: Sense & Sensibility

My household are big fans of Alan Rickman. As such, we decided to review his films from start to finish. Using IMDb, that put us starting with Die Hard (Die Hard!!!!) and we knew Dogma and Galaxy Quest would be in there, too. Not to mention all our other favorite Alan Rickman films. Plus, you know, we thought we'd discover so many more fun movies. That is probably still true but we've been discovering some real duds in our journey and it's sucking the fun out of this activity. As such, we've decided to keep going in chronological order but to focus on the ones we like or what sounds good to us.

If we skip one of your favorites feel free to make a case for it in the comments. Links to previous reviews can be found below under the cut.

Dr Musacha: Doesn't she know this is the initial, charismatic Austen guy so he's going to be all douchey?
sgwordy: No, I don't think she does. This is her first Austen.

sgwordy: Following up Mesmer with this title puts you watching two costume dramas in a row. I know that's not your cup of tea, but was Alan Rickman able to counter the costumes in this one after failing so utterly in the last one?

Dr Musacha: Yes, I think so. Also, this was just a much better movie. I mean much better! In fact, nothing could have made me like this more than watching Mesmer just prior.

sgwordy: (laughs) We hate Mesmer. Speaking of costumes, I'm not really into the whole people in uniform thing but holy shit Rickman was wearing the hell out of those regimentals at the end.

Dr Musacha: Totally agree. He pulled off all the costumes much better than Hugh Grant.

sgwordy: Oh hell yeah. I think he wore his costumes better than anyone else in the movie.

Dr Musacha: Yeah, but I thought Emma Thompson looked great in some of her costumes. You've told me before that this isn't your favorite Austen title, how was it to re-visit?

sgwordy: As a movie, it's certainly grown on me. I enjoy it much more now than the first time I saw it. I think I've seen it 4 or 5 times at this point. As characters, Marianne and Edward get on my nerves and I've never been able to reconcile myself to the fact that Colonel Brandon and Elinor don't get together. They are so perfect for each other. Also, I tend to dislike Ang Lee movies more often than I like them. That's the part that's grown on me. I like his direction in the film now whereas I didn't previously. Up and down tastes aside, it's definitely written and acted well.

Dr Musacha: I thought the acting was the best part of the movie. Kate Winslet absolutely crushes it, Emma Thompson is always great, Alan Rickman is why we're here, and even Hugh Laurie adds something. Hugh Grant was the only bad apple and I can't even tell if that was his usual bad acting or a limitation of the role.

sgwordy: I'm no Hugh Grant fan myself but if there's anything his limited skill and personality could pull off it's Edward Ferrars. Seriously, Elinor! What were you thinking? By the way, I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the acting.

Dr Musacha: The only role I've liked Hugh Grant in is the first Bridget Jones. I find him completely believable as a smarmy jackass.

sgwordy laughs

Dr Musacha: From what we've seen of Rickman so far this is a bit of a departure. For lack of a more widely accepted term, he's playing 'stoically broken-hearted.' How did you find him in that role?

sgwordy: Wholly affecting. I can't emphasize that enough. My sympathy was completely with him. That type of thing can so easily fall into sad sack territory (see any number of Hugh Grant films) but Rickman brings such authenticity to the emotion. When he's quietly backing out of the door after bringing Marianne's mother to her I just want to cry for him. Then when Marianne calls him back to say thanks I well up a bit. The characterization and writing help on that, too, I think. It's clear that Colonel Brandon acts because he is genuinely compelled to not because he's looking for rewards. What did you think of Rickman here?

Dr Musacha: Another standout performance, and you can really start to see his range as we move through his movie career...we're a far cry from wise cracking villain Rickman at this point.

Rate the movie on a scale of 1 to 10:
Dr Musacha –7
sgwordy – 8

Was Rickman the best thing about this movie?
Dr Musacha – I think I have to give the nod to Emma Thompson, but he's very close.
sgwordy – Yeah, she's quite amazing in it, I go with her, as well.

In the context of his body of work, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate Rickman as Rickman?
Dr Musacha –7
sgwordy –9

Favorite Rickman quote from this movie?
Dr Musacha: Marianne Dashwood would no more think of me than she would of you, John.
sgwordy: Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad.

Die Hard
Closet Land
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

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