Oscar Movies: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For a long time, it looked as if “Apollo 13” and “Braveheart” were not going to have much competition at all in the Best Picture Oscar category. But that was before the release of Ang Lee's crowd-pleaser, Sense and Sensibility, based on Jane Austen's romantic novel, with an all-star British cast that includes Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and Kate Winslet.

These top contenders for Best Picture represent different facets of Hollywood and different styles of filmmaking. Hollywood insiders have already touted the conflict between them as battle of the sexes. Heroic and adventurous, Apollo 13 is a classic “boys movie”; the only significant female role is played by Kathleen Quinlan, as Jim Lovell's wife.

Sense and Sensibility is also old-fashioned, but in a literary sort of way. Beautifully written by Emma Thompson, who's sure to win an Oscar for her astute script, it's an accomplished, handsomely shot costume drama. You know the genre. You've seen the Merchant-Ivory movies, A Room With a View and more recently Howards End and Remains of the Day, both starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

Oscar Nominations: 7

Picture, produced by Lindsay Doran
Actress: Emma Thompson
Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet
Screenplay (Adapted): Emma Thompson
Cinematography: Michael Coulter
Costume Design: Jenny Beavan and John Bright
Music (Original): Patrick Doyle

Oscar Awards: 1

Screenplay (Original)

Oscar Context

In 1995, Sense and Sensibility competed for the top award with Apollo 13, Babe, Braveheart, which received the largest number of nominations (10) and won Best Picture, and the Italian romantic drama The Postman, which got 5 nods.

Director Ang Lee failed to receive a nomination; he would receive an Oscar nomination in 2000 for Crouching Tiher, Hidden Dragon, and would win the award in 2005 for “Brokeback Mountain.”