Movie Flashback: 17 Years Ago Today Audiences Got a Sense of Ang Lee
12.13.12 by Chris
My heart is, and always will be, yours.
Ang Lee is one of the most most prolific and diverse directors working today. The acclaimed director jumps from genre to genre with his projects, from the high-concept martial arts movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, to adapting a comic book superhero in Hulk, to telling the story of two gay cowboys in Brokeback Mountain, to this year's 3-D adventure Life of Pi; but English audiences first got to know Lee in Sense and Sensibility, which was released on this day in 1995.
The movie, starring Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant, is based on the 1811 novel by Jane Austen. Thompson penned the screenplay over a four-year span.
When Lee agreed to direct Sense and Sensibility, his first English project, he hadn't heard of the book or Austen. And despite English not being his first language, he beat out 14 other directors because he told producers he wanted to "break people's hearts so badly they'll still be recovering from it two months later."
Sensibility became an international hit, earning $134 million off a $16 million budget. It also earned seven Oscar nominations, winning for Best Adapted Screenplay. Lee didn't get an Oscar nod but he would go on to win Best Director for Brokeback Mountain, making him the first Asian director to win the Best Director Oscar.
Fun fact: During filming the Jane Austen Society called up a producer to complain that Grant was too good-looking to play Edward Ferrars.
Where to watch: Available on DVD and streaming on Amazon and iTunes.