Sense and Sensibility is a 1995 American period drama film directed by Ang Lee and based on Jane Austen's 1811 novel of the same name. Actress Emma Thompson wrote the script and stars as Elinor Dashwood, while Kate Winslet plays Elinor's younger sister Marianne. The story follows the Dashwood sisters, members of a wealthy English family of landed gentry, as they must deal with circumstances of sudden destitution. They are forced to seek financial security through marriage. Actors Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman play their respective suitors. The film was released on December 13, 1995 in the United States.
Producer Lindsay Doran, a longtime admirer of Austen's novel, hired Thompson to write the screenplay. The actress spent five years drafting numerous revisions, continually working on the script between other films as well as into production of the film itself. Studios were nervous that Thompson – a first-time screenwriter – was the credited writer, but Columbia Pictures agreed to distribute the film. Though initially intending to have another actress portray Elinor, Thompson was persuaded to take the role.
Thompson's screenplay exaggerated the Dashwood family's wealth to make their later scenes of poverty more apparent to modern audiences. It also altered the traits of the male leads to make them more appealing to contemporary viewers. Elinor and Marianne's different characteristics were emphasised through imagery and invented scenes. Ang Lee was selected as director, both due to his work in the 1993 film The Wedding Banquet and because Doran believed he would help the film appeal to a wider audience. Lee was given a budget of $16 million.
A commercial success, the movie garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews upon release and received many accolades, including three awards and eleven nominations at the 1995 British Academy Film Awards. It earned seven Academy Awards nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Actress. Thompson received the Best Adapted Screenplay, becoming the only person to have won Academy Awards for both acting and screenwriting. Sense and Sensibility contributed to a resurgence in popularity for Austen's works, and has led to many more productions in similar genres. It persists in being recognised as one of the best Austen adaptations of all time.