Sense & Sensibility has been showing up on cable a lot lately, coinciding with my annual wintertime Jane Austen read-a-thon, all of which has me thinking ... Emma Thompson really needs to script another Jane Austen film for Ang Lee to direct. I mean, really. I know she's been pretty busy with the Nanny McFee movies, and they're nice and all (OMG, I just remembered one of the young actresses in Nanny McFee was named Eliza Bennett--how cute is that??), but we need moar Jane Austen and Emma's the woman to give it to us.
The question is, which novel? We definitely don't need another Pride & Prejudice. Northanger Abbey is my least favorite, so there's no need to go there. And while I enjoy Mansfield Park, it's not overly cinematic. I'm thinking either Emma--which really deserves a better feature film than that Gwyneth Paltrow nonsense--or Persuasion. Since Persuasion is so often overlooked and has never had a decent adaptation, I'm gonna go with that one. (Okay, the 2007 BBC version with Rupert Penry-Jones and Tony Head was pretty good, but I think we can do better.)
Obviously Emma won't be able to get away with playing the heroine at this point, but there are plenty of other juicy parts for her to play. As for the rest of the cast, there are obviously some favorites that I'd like to have in there, like Alan Rickman, Hugh Laurie, and Imelda Staunton (those three should be in everything ever made, right?). So far, my fantasy cast is looking like this:
Colin Firth - Sir Walter Elliot (if he's too busy being an Oscar winner I will accept Greg Wise in a pinch)
Kristin Scott Thomas - Lady Russell
Stephen Fry - Mr. Shepherd (a small part, but one he could do a lot with, I think)
Alan Rickman - Mr. Musgrove
Imelda Staunton - Mrs. Musgrove
Hugh Laurie - Admiral Croft
Emma Thompson - Mrs. Croft
I'm pleased with all of those except maybe Alan Rickman. Mr. Musgrove isn't a very interesting part, but I'm frankly at a loss as to where else to put him. Emma will just have to punch it up for him. That pretty much takes care of the older generation, which leaves the younger actors. And here is where I start to get stuck.
I could maybe see Kelly MacDonald as Anne, but can she even do an English accent? Also she played Colin Firth's love interest in Nanny McFee, so having her as his daughter might be creepy? Carey Mulligan would be fantastic, but she might be too pretty? She could at least play Elizabeth.
I'd love to see Ewan McGregor in there, but I'm not sure he's right for Captain Wentworth and he'd really need to not to repeat the disaster of his Frank Churchill. He could be one of the other men, though (possibly Captain Benwick or William Elliot?), if he promised to be hot. I'm willing to entertain Matthew Macfadyen as Captain Wentworth, since he was a very nice Darcy amidst the wreck of that Joe Wright mess.
Who else, people? I need suggestions here. Anyone mentioning Keira Knightley will be banned. Well, I guess she could be one of the Miss Musgroves without doing too much damage. If no one better comes along.