KISSING COUSINS

TWO NEW FILMS GO FOR THE HEART, AND JANE AUSTEN SHOWS HOLLYWOOD A THING OR TWO

VERY MOVING. THE HEARTBREAK beneath the courtesies." So writes Emma Thompson in the production diary she has just published, together with her screenplay for Sense and Sensibility. Clever girl. For writing this impeccable adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. For giving it a still, deep center with her delicately repressed (and then superbly released) performance in one of the title roles--she's "Sense," otherwise known as Elinor Dashwood. For defining in seven words the essence of romantic comedy. And for understanding that well over a century before it became a movie genre, Austen had mastered its most basic conventions.

These include bringing...

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