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Jonny Lee Miller
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At age 10, Fanny Price is sent by her destitute mother to live with her aunt and uncle, Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram. As a child she was often made to feel that she was the poor relation but by the time she reaches 18, and in the absence of her uncle who leaves on a business trip for an extended period, she begins to enjoy herself. When Henry Crawford and his sister Mary become neighbors to the Bertrams, opportunities abound. Edmond Bertram falls in love with Mary but she wants to marry a man with money, not someone destined to life as a clergyman. Meanwhile, Fanny's love for her cousin Edmond prevents her from accepting Mr. Crawford's proposal of marriage. Written by
I doubt whoever wrote this screenplay has ever actually read Mansfield Park...or if they have it was not very well. None of the characters are what they should be: Fanny is lively and conscious of her mistreatment, while Sir Thomas, who treated her very well, seems to have accidentally fallen into Aunt Norris' personality. Additionally, a first person narrative by Fanny is highly inappropriate to both the story and her character. Fanny is not an entertaining heroine, and I would contend that she is not meant to be. Additionally, in the movie version, Fanny flirts shamelessly with Edmund from the very beginning, when they have been raised as brother and sister! Austen's Fanny would have shrank from flirtation of any sort, and the novel paints the Fanny/Edmund pairing as highly uncomfortable...as it should be. Unlike some other Jane Austen novels (P&P, Emma), Mansfield Park does not rest on the strength of its female protagonist. It is a very different sort of novel than the others; it is not meant to be a love story. I watched this movie because I have just now finished reading Mansfield Park, and I am absolutely horrified by what I see; Miss Austen is rolling in her grave.
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