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Jane Austen Movies & TV

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Jane Austen's novels have been adapted into so many films and TV miniseries that it's hard to keep them all straight. This one, however, stands out as one of the best. Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay and stars as staid sister Elinor, while Kate Winslet plays her sensitive sister Marianne. Thompson's blubbering, snorty explosion of emotion in the pivotal final scene with Edward Ferrars is one of the most endearing freak-outs in cinema.

Clueless (1995)

Jane Austen's takedowns of silly social rituals and the dangers of self-delusion translate across cultures and time. Perhaps the best example of this is Clueless, which moves Austen's Emma to a suburban California high school. Emma Woodhouse may not have used the same language as Alicia Silverstone's Cher, but she would have recognized her superficial naiveté ("He does dress better than I do, what would I bring to the relationship?") and her pickiness about relationships ("You see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet.").

Emma (1996)

Gwyneth Paltrow stars as the bumbling matchmaker Emma Woodhouse in this adaptation of Austen's novel. It's a good movie, but truly our favorite thing about it is the woman who posted to the IMDB message board to ask, "Has anyone noticed how similar this movie is to 'Clueless'?"

Bride and Prejudice (2004)

This movie is an example of how well Austen's themes translate across cultures. It's a modern-day version of Pride and Prejudice set in India and the United States. What takes this movie from good to awesome? The music. Personally, we would prefer it if all Jane Austen remakes from now on included Bollywood-style dance numbers.

Becoming Jane (2007)

Janeites are UP IN ARMS about the historical accuracy of this movie, which imagines Austen's romance with Tom LeFroy, the young Irishman with whom she enjoyed a brief flirtation. The movie suggests that LeFroy is the inspiration for Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy; history suggests that their real relationship probably less intense. In either case, the movie is a good example of Regency-period dress and mannerisms, and nicely illustrates Jane Austen's world.

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

Based on the novel by Karen Fowler, this movie is about a book club of six people who meet to talk about Austen's six novels. Soon, it becomes clear that their lives are similar to the books' plots—and that each book club member resembles a different Austen character.

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