|Mansfield Park (1999)
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A spirited young woman turns proper society upside down in this witty jane austen comedy. Studio: Buena Vista Home Video Release Date: 01/04/2005 Starring: Embeth Davidtz Frances Oconnor Run time: 112 minutes Rating: Pg13
- Great Movie!
I love this movie! It is a much better version of this Jane Austin classic than the other version that is out there....more info
- Mansfield Park
Good modern version. It took some liberties with the plot. It cut out several storylines for minor characters which is expected for a movie. I liked the BBC mini-series better because it was able to develop charatcters & the story better. ...more info
- Great Movie
I recieved this movie in good condition and its an awesome movie, its a must see....more info
- mildy diverting regency romp
Mansfield Park is one of the more problematic of the Austen creations, mostly because of the heroine, Fanny Brice, who maddens readers with her passivity, goodness and inability to take any initiative. Her method is to be good and wait for good things to happen to her. Of course, ultimately they do when she captures the heart of her drippy cousin Edmund.
This movie inserts a few little touches to "bring it up to date," notably a few allusions to the evils of slavery upon which the Mansfield Park finances depend (there is a distant, unseen sugar plantation in Antigua) and also a slight hint of lesbianism which is enough to titillate the senses but no more.
If you don't expect too much, we have all the traditional Austen themes in plentiful supply -- the obligatory ball, the walks in the country, a bit of horse riding, a little hint of poverty, a little sexual politics, a rake, a scheming gold digger etc etc.
It's fine for an evening in front of the fire. No more, no less. ...more info
- it may not be an adaptation, but it's PURE jane.
being a purest can be deadly to one's enjoyment of a piece of art which may be derived from another, but is not an exact rendering of it. this flick probably ought to be called "fanny": it is not about mansfield park, it is about fanny price -- and a rollicking fun fanny she is. just forget about your english lit. class mentality and revel in the FUN of this flick: the come-uppance at the end is simply delicious. it is a very personal view of the material, but it has an authentic voice; give it a listen, i think you'll enjoy it....more info
- Mansfield Park
Did not like the story. Quality is good and color excellent. Just not a good story....more info
- A Mangled Mess
As an Austen purist, this movie actually made me angry. It is an odd, loose mixture of Mansfield Park and Austen's own biography with some very disturbing imagery thrown in. I found the director's style to be unnerving with Fanny constantly making eye contact with the camera and several quite vulgar sexual references and images. It was Austen in the gutter, in my opinion. I truly hated this movie. I teach high school English, and I give the students the option to watch films like this as an assignment, and the only ones who ever watched this version said it left them confused and vaguely disgusted. Don't waste your money....more info
- It Might Have Turned Out Austen, if it Weren't for Patricia Rozema
When you sit down to watch this film, I suggest you rename it in your head. Think of it as being entirely unrelated to the Jane Austen novel and you'll certainly enjoy it. What you absolutely must not do is look for a film that captures Austen's caustic sarcasm or, indeed, most of her novel "Mansfield Park."
Personally, I really do love this film, but only when I'm keeping it separate from Austen's masterpiece. The main problem with this film can be summed up in one person: writer/director Patricia Rozema. What she thought she was doing to the classic novel, I have no idea. She has changed the characters considerably: Fanny, who is shy and timid in the novel, becomes a courageous writer with a sarcastic wit; her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram becomes an odious man with the intention of trading her off into marriage the same way he trades his slaves; her cousin Tom, rather than living unaware of the needs of anyone else, spends his time balancing between being in a drunken stupor and arguing with his father on behalf of their slaves; her aunt, Lady Bertram, is addictied to opium; and her Aunt Norris is not nearly so snide as in the book. Worst of all, I think, is the complete omission of William, fanny's brother and best friend. Rozema also has given the relationship between Fanny and Mary Crawford an air of lesbianism, which irritated me a great deal. (Rozema says in her commentary that the two scenes which give that feeling were born of Austen's comment on the "fascination of their relationship," though, having read the novel, I can assure you that nothing of the sort is even slightly hinted at.)
The worst flaw in Rozema's film, though, is undoubtedly her commentary on slavery. The audience is basically force fed constant, and sometimes very graphic reminders of where the Bertram's wealth is coming from. The whole slavery subplot detracts from the main story and seems to be more of a shock tactic than anything else.
Luckily, the film has some redeeming qualities in its cast. Hugh Bonneville and Victoria Hamilton are perfect as the absurd Mr. Rushworth and the obnoxiously self-centered Maria. Frances O'Connor is a charming heroine, and the way in which Rozema utilized lines straight from Austen's letters and journals as Fanny's speech gives the audience a chance to place Jane Austen as the heroine of Mansfield Park, as well as granting us a rare chance to hear more examples of her sharp wit.
So, keep it separate from the book, try not to get lost by the slavery subplot, sit back and enjoy an otherwise beautiful film!...more info
- Mansfield Park . . . I guess
Ugh, this movie does not deserve the same title as the Jane Austen novel. Well, yes, the characters have the same names, but that's about it. I don't know where on earth this screenplay came from, but it's not Mansfield Park. If you enjoyed Austen's book, don't waste your time on this movie....more info
- Darker Than Other Jane Austen Movies
This version of Mansfield Park still has some of the same themes as all of the movies made from Austen's (a woman's plight, lack of power, and meddlesome family involving matters of the heart) but it also focuses on the slavery issue and the conflicting feelings of those involved, to the point that the son is incredibly self-desctuctive precisely because of his opposition to that horror of history. The characters are colorful but this story is darker both in the slavery aspect and in the details of the Price family's poverty. It does have some bright aspects including a happy ending for most of the parties involved. Also, one thing I found intersting was that the father offered to allow his daughter a way out of an advantageous upcoming marriage if she didn't feel happy. He was more concerned with the prospect of her happiness than with the "connection". Great job on that character in this movie because his concern for his daughter, along with his obvious conflict over the issue of slavery, allowed us to have some sympathy for him. ...more info
- A must see movie from a "Feminist" point of View! Kudos to Rozema (Director)!
I usually write my own reviews without reading other people's comments, however, because I own this movie, I wanted to see how others view and rate it.
That said, this movie is fantastic, witty, daring, playful and deliciously entertaining. I've read and watched the video intake on this version of "Mansfield Park"; the director, Ms. Rozema, did her research, she used Austen's "letters" (which can reveal a lot about how she truly felt on giving situations, but which could not be incorpated into a book, such as the issue of slavery). Hence in doing so, the director gave Fanny some wit, in which, in the book version she is lacking.
How did the director accomplish this? By using what are not usually expressed openly: the treatment of women behind closed doors and the "shocking" treatment of "slave women" during slavery.
This is a very sensitive issue; it is an issue we would want to disappear and pretend did not happen. In actuality, rapes were rampant on plantations and in households where human beings were the property of others, just like cattles.
You can notice, Fanny, as a result, begins to see the world differently when she observed some scenes (Her married cousin, partially nude in the arms of another man and drawings of explicit rapes scenes) that were disturbing and explicitly shocking for her to view (i.e., Drawings of explicit sexual abuse of enslaved women on a plantation owned by her aunt's husband on Antigua; Honestly, the drawings, were painful for me to watch; I have to admit that I abhor the mistreatment of women, no matter what form it presents itself; in that, I'm a true feminist). She becomes stronger, wittier and a new sense of awakening develops within her, which makes her see the people, ultimately, the world around her more closely.
The "explicit" content of the film is at most two to three minutes. And the partial nudity is very brief. Can this film be used as an educational tool for high school students, well, it can be made viewable by skipping the explicit and objectionable scenes. Those disturbing scenes can be explained to young and older adolescent students by the teacher.
All in all, this film is well-acted and agreeably diverting with a feminist flair.
I recommend this movie because the director did an outstanding job (by including Jane Austen's letters to support her vision on this adaptation of the book) and the heroine of the movie truly shines! ...more info
- Jane Austen Fan
I love Mansfield Park both as a book and as a movie. This version followed along more closely to the actual story as Jane Austen wrote it. It is a well made movie with a wonderful cast. Ms. Frances O'Connor protrayed Fanny Price quite well. I love watching this movie over and over again. ...more info
My daughter and I read the book at the same time. Having read the book, and knowing how difficult it was, we were both looking forward to treating ourselves to the movie version. How dissapointed we were! This version was nothing like the book....more info
- I really wanted to like it...
I really wanted to like this movie, but just couldn't. Frances O'Connor was a distraction, and Jonny Lee Miller was insipid. I was shocked by how bad it actually was. ...more info
- Interesting Interpretation
The movie is not completely faithful to Jane Austen's Masterpiece, which usually would spell disaster but some how this movie is still delightful. I still prefer the BBC 1983 mini-series better, however this is still worth a look. I also, enjoy the fact that Fanny is much more feisty in this version....more info
- Could be good. Vulgar scenes ruin it.
This movie could have truly been in gem in our family. I know it makes it more realistic, but the two scenes (sexual slave drawings and the scene were fanny walks in on Mr. Crawford on Maria) ruin it for me. I was shocked after watching a perfectly clean movie so far to see those things thrown in. They were totally useless. I cannot allow my children to watch it nor would I watch it again.
If these scenes were not there, this would be one of my favorite movies. Is there a version out there without them?...more info
- Classic Jane Austen
Another well loved Jane Austen story captured in an amazing way! Well Done!...more info
- Ingenious & Inventive
The more I watch this brilliant adaptation, the more thrilled I am by Rozema's daring, as well as the breadth of her knowledge. Austen's letters are well integrated, Fanny's direct address to the camera is audacious and arresting. O'Connor's manner, her delicacy, sensibility, spirited autonomy despite the character's real destitution, are so effective that repeated viewings make this a richer experience rather than a tired one. I love the post-colonial touch of acknowledging the slave trade and the probable abuses on Sir Thomas's Antigua property.
I can't recommend this film enough. Austen fans may initially feel that it is too innovative to be true Austen, but I think that, in fact, it's not only the greatest adaptation, but the most startling tribute to her genius. Thank you, Patricia Rozema, for this beautiful, unflinching, witty delight! p.s. Listen to Nivola's reading of the Sterne excerpt. Wow!!...more info
- Would have given no stars but can't
This is not the book. The only thing that this shares with the book is its' title. Total dissapointment! Get the BBC version if you don't want to read the book. But you are missing out on a timeless classic. ...more info
- They might have walked past this book....
but no one associated with this movie could possibly have actually read Mansfield Park. All the charm, the conflicts, most of the story, and all the sense have been removed. What is left is a hodge-podge of a movie that tries feebly to take on the issues of slavery but falls far short of success, while missing the entire point of the original story. ...more info
- Director brings PC baggage to dull film
The film was not without charm...when it doesn't stray too far from Jane Austins' novel. When it did ...were left with awkward Father/Uncle groping of Fanny and lesbian innuendo....their is also a mini condemnation of slavery and slave raping thrown into this love story.
Patricia Rozema obviously couldn't get people to watch anything she's written so she got Miramax to help her "Update" Jane Austin's "Out of touch" novel...problem is that Jane's work is alive and well and people want to see it when it's done right.
Patricia should at least mess up an man's Novel next time with her over the top PC feminist take of the world. I'm sure here first draft had Fanny falling in love with Mary Crawford....more info
- Awesome Austin
Of course, Jane Austin is at her best in this novel. A revealing notion of the life in the 18th century England. The love story is unusual and intense. The actors are super, too....more info
- Not for the "purist", but not as willfully divergent as you might think...
If you like your Jane to look and sound like Jane, and not like some director's idea of the spirit of Jane, then this film is probably not for you. If, however, you revel in period films done with good production values, intelligent writing and acting, and if you don't mind some nudity and shock value that moves the whole work out of the family-viewing arena, then this film has much to reccomend it.
I mostly appreciated the way that this director/writer effort managed to transport elements of Austen's novel onto the screen, although they often appear tranformed as well as transported. Though this film lacks the polite-society feel of Austen as we have come to expect it from previous film versions of her novels, in purely literary terms it remains true to much of the themes and motives of the original. This version of Mansfield merely expresses them a bit differently.
On the other hand, there are some aspects of this adaptation that stole the enjoyment for me. The infamous slave-drawings scene, for instance, while it helps sympathize Tom's character (you get why he's drowning his pain and moral confusion in alchohol), creates a huge dichotomy in my mind over Fanny's eventual reconciliation and respect for her uncle. How is it possible that such a thoughtful girl as Fanny can learn respect for the monstrous, evil-minded man her uncle is in this adaptation? In addition, that horrifying scene, with Fanny poring over the agonized drawings Tom made of his father engaging in acts of brutality with the family slaves, felt a bit too much like the director was expressing an agenda. I can deal with tough stuff in a movie, if it serves the story well, but this just didn't.
Also, cousin Edmund lacks the motivations that in the novel, render his behavior understandable. Here, he comes off as a wispy stick-figure kind of guy. One has to wonder what her attraction to him could be. Their eventually coming together feels a bit too much like the characters themselves had access to the script and no choice but to follow it.
For me, the main thing this movie lacked was any genuinely likeable characters other than Fanny, and perhaps her sister. That is a wearying thing in a feature-length film.
- Is this really a Jane Austen?
Why one star? I didn't know how to leave it empty.
What a disappointment. I wonder that this even qualified for the use of the title. Yes it has the plot and the characters' names, but that's about it. The character development, especially of Fanny is terrible. We don't even know what qualities in Fanny lend her to so "good" as we do in the book and the BBC version, nor would this character even qualify for those qualities. The characters are, unfortunately current "Hollywood" style.
And where was the warning...brief upper nudity scene, I hardly think this was in Jane Austen's style. Leave Mansfield in it's time era, don't try to update it to this time...it just doesn't do.
I was so disappointed I actually got rid of the DVD. It's naughty and not at all a Jane Austen....more info
- A woman of great character
I remember watching this in 1999 when it came out and not liking it. I just reread the book and decided to give it another go. I loved it! It was so beautifully done and brought in the history of the time with added clarity. Even though some of the things were not in the book specifically, they fit into the puzzle, adding some deeper colors that fit into the period. For example with the understanding of slavery in that time and what was really going on in places like Antigua.