As an English major who ended up reading Jane Austen in about five different courses, I’d known of this speech for years. More than one of my professors referenced it in teaching Sense and Sensibility (and other Austen novels). Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson (Howards End and The Remains of the Day for the win), who is one of my favorite performers on the planet, wrote and starred in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, directed by Ang Lee. The film ended up being an enormous success with critics and audiences alike. It is an impeccable adaptation of Austen’s novel and it features a who’s who of British actors: Kate Winslet, in a breakthrough role, Hugh Grant, Hugh Laurie, Alan Rickman (as a nice guy!), Imelda Staunton and Harriet Walter, among others.
The film received seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Actress, Supporting Actress and Screenplay. It would win one: for Thompson’s screenplay, making her the only person to win Oscars for both writing and acting. Thompson would later win a BAFTA as Best Actress. But it was this Golden Globe speech that year that folks really seem to remember, my professors especially. Dedicating the win to Austen, Thompson proceeds to offer a speech in the style of Austen’s writing, surmising how the author might have perceived the Hollywood Foreign Press event. Enjoy.