Sense and Sensibility is a 1995 period drama based on a novel by none other than Jane Austen (other prominent novel includes Pride and Prejudice which has also been adapted into feature films on various occasions) of the same name. A proper British film, the movie’s screenplay is worth mentioning and the screenplay has gathered and rightfully so, praise and nominations for different accolades.
Released in 1995, the Jane Austen novel-inspired period drama was produced by Lindsay Doran and the screenplay was done by Ang Lee. Starring the likes of Kate Winslet, Gemma Thomas, and Emma Thompson (who btw also wrote the screenplay of the movie. The movie is Emma Thompson’s passion project and she spent 5 years on it before the filming) as the Dashwood girls and mother respectively around whom the initial novel and similarly this movie revolves. Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant are the male actors who enact the roles of suitors for the Dashwood girls.
Nominated for 7 academy awards and 11 British Academy Film Awards, the movie was a revelation at the time of its release. Especially the screenplay which is aesthetic and picturesque at the same time. Also, the fact that various locations in the book are major plot devices, Ang Lee accurately brought these locations to life in the 1995 film and elevated the movie as a whole. So without any further delays, we will move on and answer the initial question i.e. Where is Sense and Sensibility filmed? What are the filming locations of the movie?
Sense and Sensibility Filming Locations
For someone who is familiar with the book and work of Jane Austen in general knows the fact that the locations are major themes and plot devices in the books (and subsequently the feature films.). Hence it becomes prominent that what were the filming locations of Sense and Sensibility?
Primarily speaking, the movie has been shot largely in the countryside of South Devon. And also in other parts of England. Speaking about the main location of the movie i.e. the house of the Dashwood family after the demise of the stepfather (as the females are legally bound to inherit the property. Hence they have to leave their house and move out.), the beautiful mansion is located in Plymouth on the banks of the river Emre. The house is officially known as Efford House. Currently, it is one of the holiday cottages on the Flete Estate in Plymouth and is called Barton Cottage in the movie.
The house in which they lived initially and they had to depart due to unforeseen circumstances is a Georgian era mention overlooking the river Plym and is called Saltram House. The property is currently overseen by National Trust in England. For another prominent scene in the movie i.e. the final wedding scene, St. Mary’s Church which is situated in Berry Pomeroy is used. These locations are the prominent filming locations of Sense and Sensibility. Compton Castle is also another location that is used as a private estate in the movie.
Other prominent locations in the movie are Mothecombe Garden Cottage in Plymouth for the scene of Mrs. Jenning’s London home, Queen’s House (part of National Maritime Museum, London) for the scene where the entire friends and family takes a walk through bustling Central London. Sir John Middleton lived in his mansion known as Barton Park in the movie which in real life is Trafalgar Park and is located in Wiltshire.
Sense and Sensibility – Plot Discussed
A quintessential British film, the movie does justice to Jane Austen and her work. But with certain creative liberties which the makers of the movie have to take; all in order to fit the movie in the time it was released.
As the book and the premise is set in the 1800s, the themes of class and gender difference are inevitable. But the movie does a good job in adapting the movie in a way that the themes are there and also the gap in understanding of viewers is acknowledged. The makers would not have entertained the questions of viewers like, let’s say that why did the girls did not just take up the job if they cannot inherit the property.
Also, the characters are refined. The true Sense (Elinor) and Sensibility (Marianne Dashwood) are not explicitly shown and that is understood. We have to keep in mind the casual and new viewers who just might not be familiar with Jane Austen and her messages through her works.
The movie comes out to be love and money-based movie rather than an anecdote and expedition on the class divide, gender definitions, and life during the royalty times of London. And that is fine. It does not adjust the nuance of the movie and it deserved the awards and nominations it got.