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 ... See full summary »
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. Written by
Although I know better than to expect a "pure" adaptation of a novel when Hollywood gets hold of it, I was nevertheless unprepared for the horrible mangling this novel received at the hands of the screenwriter. Having immensely enjoyed recent renderings of "Sense and Sensibility," "Emma," and various versions of "Pride and Prejudice," I expected to receive similar enjoyment from this film. I had not read any reviews or advance press before watching it. I had, unfortunately, just read the book itself this summer and it was fresh in my mind. In my opinion this is the WORST rendition of a Jane Austen work I have ever seen. Perhaps if I had never read the book, I might have enjoyed it somewhat more, but to me it was unbearable to see a book I thoroughly enjoyed so completely rewritten. I am astonished at the comments of some of the reviewers here opining that Jane Austen would have approved. Poppycock!
I began to feel sick early on. To me, the character of Fanny Price and other major characters bore as much resemblance to Jane Austen's heroine as Danny Devito bore to Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Twins." The entire invention of Fanny as a budding writer, the deletion of her younger brother who was so important in the plot concerning Henry Crawford, the image of Fanny as somewhat outspoken and rebellious, the depiction of Fanny's aunt as an opium addict and her uncle as a brutish, raping slaveowner.... The list goes on and on. Henry and Maria being caught by Fanny in the house, Fanny voluntarily kissing Henry and agreeing to marry him and then retracting. Ugh!
I really detest writers who want to mold everything in the modern vein. Fanny Price was not a modern heroine, but she fit her time. There was far too much PC propaganda and feminist hogwash which you might expect in a movie about our society but is ridiculous set against Fanny's time. She was devout, loyal, quiet, humble, stubborn only in her keen perception of others' character as measured against her conviction of what was good and what was not, possessing an innate strength of character which did not rely on others' perception of her and which she refused to compromise. Jane Austen would not have approved of this new Fanny for precisely this reason: her Fanny did not care about the "new" conventions of moral thought and permissiveness in her own society. The movie downplayed the seriously flawed characters of Henry Crawford and his sister. It portrayed him far too sympathetically, made it appear that he truly and deeply loved Fanny and seemed to blame Fanny's (non-existent) double-mindedness for his downfall.
All in all, this is an extremely disappointing film if one cares about what was really written in Mansfield Park. I think "Clueless" as a modern version of "Emma" (and which I also enjoyed) is more true to Austen than this let-down of a movie.
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