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Plot: At 10, Fanny Price, a poor relation, goes to live at Mansfield Park, the estate of her aunt's husband, Sir Thomas. Clever, studious, and a writer with an ironic imagination and fine moral compass, she becomes especially close to Edmund, Thomas's younger son. Fanny is soon possessed of beauty as well as a keen mind and comes to the attention of a neighbor, Henry Crawford. Thomas promotes this match, but to his displeasure, Fanny has a mind of her own, asking Henry to prove himself worthy. As Edmund courts Henry's sister and as light shines on the link between Thomas's fortunes and New World slavery, Fanny must assess Henry's character and assert her heart as well as her wit. Runtime: 112 mins Release Date: 31 Mar 2000
Excellent film inspired by rather than adapted from Austen's work (by fw)
Director Rozema does for film what Austen does for the novel. In place of Austen's beautiful prose, Rozema's Mansfield Park delivers delicately crafted performances, heartbreakingly poetic cinematography, and a haunting score by Lesley Barber, but still manages to capture Austen's wit throughout.Frances O'Connor and Jonny Lee Miller as Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram carry the film with their subtlety and chemistry, and a few scenes between the two are enough to deem the film a masterpiece. But they are not the only merits: the supporting cast breathe dimensionality to their <more>
characters with interesting interpretations of Austen's work. Most notable are Lindsay Duncan in her dual roles as Mrs Price and Mrs Bertram, and Victoria Hamilton as an intensely human Maria. Sophia Myles and Justine Waddell display equal genius albeit within the limitations of somewhat small roles. It is more difficult to gauge the performances of Alessandro Nivola and Embeth Davidtz; their characters are too affected by choices made in the script arguably, Henry Crawford for the better and Mary Crawford for the worse .One can be a fan of Jane Austen and still appreciate the film. Although it bears little resemblance to the novel itself, it embodies much of the spirit of Austen and draws from her other novels where Mansfield Park the novel might be, dare I say, lacking. I am an ardent supporter of Austen, but I must say that the film version makes a commendable choice in choosing a protagonist that shares more of Pride and Prejudice's Elizabeth Bennett's spirit than the subdued Fanny of Mansfield Park.The film does, of course, have its flaws. The slavery issue is treated in a manner too heavy-handed to blend with Austen's style, and the same can be said of the hints of lesbianism that are just painfully out of place. The sexual tension is often a touch too overbearing in the film, although I agree with Rozema in saying that the film does not create this sexuality anew but draws from the tension latent in the novel with the exception of the above-mentioned lesbianism . Other disappointments include Sir Bertram and Tom Bertram, who are practically caricatures that mar the otherwise brilliant characterization in the film.Regardless, the film's high points far outweigh its imperfections -- all in all, highly recommended.
Yes, it wasn't fully true to the original, and yes, it was a little risque and late-20th century for Jane Austen, but very enjoyable nevertheless. The setting and costumes were beautiful, the actors were charming and attractive, and everything was very well done. I think Ms. Austen would have approved.
Stop judging movies based on the novels they're based on! (by funkydvd)
My summary line pretty much says all I need to. Notice that every bad review of this film is from someone who loved the book! Since when did a film live up to the book!? Of course this is a great compliment to Jane Austen. I mean, if your love of an author's work can make you hate on a movie like this then you have to have a pretty good thing going! Me? No, I've never read a Jane Austen novel. And, I doubt I would have never watched this movie as I'm not in the target demographic. But, I happened upon it one rainy afternoon and it just sucked me in. I noticed it on IFC again <more>
tonight and I couldn't break myself away. I love it.Now, of course, I'm a bit biased as I have a crush on Frances O'Connor. But, still, I thought the acting, pacing, and scenery were all very good. What stands out to me though is the way O'Connor shows vulnerability making certain scenes all the more sincere.
This is a wonderful movie, one that I liked far better than I expected. For the record I am a passionate fan of the novels, and thought the recent Keira Knightley "Pride and Prejudice" too silly and modernized. The ads and previews for "Mansfield Park" on its theatrical release made it seem like a revisionist, "sexed-up" bit of trash, so I skipped it. What wasn't stressed then, and makes watching the DVD worthwhile, is that it is revisionist in a very thoughtful, interesting way. Note that the movie claims to be "based on" both Mansfield Park AND <more>
Jane Austen's journals and other writings. It never claims to be a straight filming of the novel. Fortunately it is beautifully made and has integrity in being faithful both to aspects of the book and to the writer/director's interpretation of it. It earns the liberties it takes with the novel.No, this is not Jane Austen's Fanny Price. Fanny has been re-imagined as "Jane Austen" herself, a woman of intelligence and talent for whom ideas and writing are essential to life. The wild stories we hear Fanny reading to her sister are passages from Austen's Juvenilia, and we also hear passages from Austen's journals and other writings. I've never been a Fanny-hater myself, but I did love this new Fanny. I was surprised at the absence of Fanny's brother, but the writer/director Patricia Rozema has combined William with Susan for the sake of economy. As she explains in the commentary track, she retained Susan instead of William since Susan's character has a conclusion, as it were.The abolitionist theme that is very subtle in the book is played up here. Not with preachy monologues and 21st century anachronisms, but by dialogue and events that come naturally from the characters. There have always been abolitionists. Other, more overt motifs in the novel, such as improvements and acting, do not get much screen time. Changes are also made in chronology, and there is a brief "caught in flagrante" sex scene that doesn't deserve the scorn heaped upon it.What emerges in this movie is a great, vibrant heroine, the hybrid Austen/Fanny character. Austen's journal writings are haunting, echoing and summarizing many of the themes of her best characters and fiction. Frances O' Connor gives a fantastic performance as the adult Fanny, supported by as fine an ensemble cast as I've ever seen. The movie has a wonderful score, and looks just right. Deliberately not as opulent as some adaptations, this film makes the signs of decay around the house of Mansfield Park subtle but unmistakable.This version of Mansfield Park is not a straight depiction of the novel, and the adaptation won't be to everyone's taste. Patricia Rozema does know Austen's work, but as a filmmaker realizes that you can't just transfer great prose onto a screen. She made choices as to which themes to bring out and which to ignore, and made changes in character and dialogue to give the movie a life of its own. These choices were made for artistic reasons, not out of ignorance of Austen. You could ask, Why not just write an original screenplay if you're going to change so much? I think it's because Rozema and we love Austen, and Austen is still at the heart of this film, just beating a different rhythm.
Worth watching - A good solid film, a charming interpretation (by heidi-962-439592)
A solid film, highly enjoyable and watchable. I am a Jane Austen fan and purist, and was not offended that this version did not stick avidly to the book. The acting was solid and the characters believable no strings, no wood I am a big fan, have read the book many times and the characters were well matched to the actors, even if the central story deviated a bit.I give this 9/10 for a chick flick period drama with a happy ending as all in this genre should be and a 6/10 for a strict version of Mansfield Park. This 6/10 does not detract from the enjoyment of the film in my opinion.It states <more>
clearly in the opening credits that the film is based on "Jane Austen's letters, her Juvenilla stories AND Mansfield Park" so in this version the character of Fanny Price is given a generous nod to the characters and events in the life of Jane Austen, which is a new and interesting twist and nice for those who are fans of Austen and not just the 6 novels. Fanny in the film is not as reserved and put upon as Fanny of the book, but this is where the Jane Austen letters come in, and I would like to believe that Fanny of the film is just as worthy a heroine because after all we all love Jane too .As with all movies of a good book there are omissions that some may find frustrating, but the parallels with Jane Austen's life; her early writings of the Juvenilla stories and her reading them to her beloved sister, her first accepting then refusing the marriage proposal a day later, all added to the charm of this version.I am pleased that I got over myself and the negative reviews I had previously read and decided to give it a go. It is worth watching, and to all the nay sayers out there, No it really is not that bad, there are many film version that are unwatchable, but this is not one of them.
"Mansfield Park" is a wholly wonderful motion picture in every aspect based - how loosely we cannot know nor should we care - on a Jane Austen novel. The film which delves into the lives of an 18-19th century English gentry family is replete with lush scenic beauty, perfection in costuming, a rich and elegant script, superb casting, faultless acting and direction, and, when taken as an entity unto itself is near sheer perfection in all respects. Given the genre and period, it just doesn't get much better than this.
Alright, for the most part I like this movie very much. Yes, yes I know that it's not faithful to the book, but I do believe they readily admitted to taking inspiration from other Austen works as well as the author herself. I in fact read, or tried to read, the book and found it dull and uninspiring, unlike other Austen novels. For these reasons, I don't have any objections on that score.What I do find regrettable is the insistence on trying to make the story "modern" and "wicked." Firstly, Jane Austen's works have always stood the test of time without trying <more>
to modernize them. I find Pride and Prejudice more relevant than many movies based on novels written 10 years ago. And secondly, the charm of Jane Austen is that her characters are in no way wicked! They have faults abundantly, but the heroines and heroes are undoubtedly good. They are not sleazy. I hate to think that being naughty is the equivalent of being modern. Or that every story that mentions slavery must make a big deal about how horrible it was and good people will instinctively realize that and will stand against it. We all know slavery was bad, but it was a way of life for a very long time and believe it or not, not every good person was an abolitionist. All this to say that the forced modernity jars very unsettlingly with the characteristics anyone who is familiar with history knows and expects to see.Buuut despite the rant, I was altogether pleased. I felt the changes in Fanny were an improvement and though she felt inconsistent, I could understand where waverings in her personality came from. I think many mistake her steadfast loyalty to Edmund for smugness and prudery, and truthfully I might not like her if I had to live with her in person, but I felt for her on screen. The rest of the cast did very well, though Mary was too much vixen, even making insinuations with Fanny.It was very interesting at the end where Fanny states it all could have ended very differently, but it didn't. I definitely saw that as I was rooting for Henry most of the time. I do truly feel if he had shown more patience or Fanny had accepted him, they may have grown to love each other and things could have still ended happily. But Austen seems intent on having that one deceitful man in all her stories: Wickham, Willoughby, Frank, Henry...Ah well, all in all a good film. One of the more melancholy of the Austens, alongside Sense and Sensibility- when things get dark, they get DARK. But don't worry, the sun will shine again, as suns are wont to do...
This is a perfect romantic comedy & an excellent date movie.The story is slight, but well written. The acting is very good. & the production is near flawless. My only quibble is the sound, much of the dialogue is very low, as these were very genteel people in 1806. BUT I had some trouble hearing some of itHighly recommendedthank youJay Harris
Not true to the letter, but has the wit and spirit of Austen (by secondtake)
Mansfield Park 1999 A remarkably clear-headed film that make Jane Austen real and alive. The heroine here is perhaps even a bit like Austen—though the actress is prettier, by all accounts—and it includes letters read by the character that are seemingly Austen's words. But what the cast and director Patricia Rozema pull off here is fabulous. There is no one reason this movie works so well, except of course the really scintillating, funny writing of Austen herself. The lead character is Fanny Price, played with true joy, angst, and subtle wit by Frances O'Connor. The two men who <more>
court her on and off are strong enough as men to be convincing, but they are perfectly still young men, barely more than boys in years, and they have those youthful flaws. Which is part of the fodder for Austen's wit.And social observation. If you don't quite catch the way she plays social classes against each other you miss part of the substance. It isn't just that the poor niece ends up at the rich uncle's house, but that this same niece has the perception to see through their facades. And to keep mum until just the right moment.This isn't a liberation film where the woman charges to victory in a big speech or by a power play. Instead—and this is one reason Austen is still readable today—the woman simply comments on the issues in a way that makes clear her more advanced views, and the obstacles slowly fall away through outside circumstances rather than her own doing . The passivity of Fanny Price might bother some people, but that's exactly her role, as a character, in this pageant.One last point—slavery. This is the one novel of Austen's that gets her in trouble for her languid views on the uncle's use of slaves in the West Indies. The movie seems to twist this into a more modern condemnation, which helps us stay sympathetic to the whole shebang. There is even an added scene of sketches done in a way rather like Goya's socially critical drawings of the same time, with some Kara Walker thrown in which make clear the crisis at hand.If you want to dip into Austen through a movie, choose between this and the 2005 "Pride and Prejudice" and you won't be disappointed. Of course, if you want to read the book—that's even better. More modern and fresh than it "should" be for 200 years ago.