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Sense and Sensibility Reviews

The third and least interesting entry in 1995's Jane Austen sweepstakes, in which the earthbound PERSUASION finished a length behind the effervescent, Emma-inspired CLUELESS. Emma Thompson's workmanlike screenplay follows the fatherless Dashwood sisters (Thompson and HEAVENLY CREATURE Kate Winslet) as they search for suitable husbands in a man's world. For once, Thompson turns in a gimmick-free performance, and the rest of the actors range from fine to fabulous. But the whole thing feels stolid and uninspired, and even the relatively adventurous choice of Taiwanese director Ang Lee -- whose previous features (THE WEDDING BANQUET, EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN) evidenced a keen sense of family and social dynamics -- yields surprisingly conventional results.