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Mansfield Park 1999

Mansfield Park 1999

Mansfield Park 1999

I remember when this film came out. It was very controversial and much outrage. I didn’t like it the first time I saw it.

However, I have changed my mind and this is now my favourite Mansfield Park adaptation. There are significant changes to some of the characters. Fanny is energetic, witty and a writer (in fact she appears to have written Austen’s juvenilia), Henry Crawford is much more sympathetically portrayed (Fanny accepts him in Portsmouth and then changes her mind) and Tom Bertram is not a hard-living elder son who spends too much money but is a young man haunted by demons.

This film is beautiful – the sets and the costumes are stunning. Also, it was quite ingenious to have the same actress play the roles of Lady Bertram and Mrs Price (Lindsay Duncan) because you can see what hard living (or marrying for love as she says) does to Mrs Price.

Henry and Mary Crawford

Henry and Mary Crawford

Edmund Bertram

Edmund Bertram

Mary and Edmund rehearsing

Mary and Edmund rehearsing

Frank and Maria flirting during the rehearsals for the play

Frank and Maria flirting during the rehearsals for the play

Mr Crawford beginning to be interested in Fanny

Mr Crawford beginning to be interested in Fanny

Portsmouth - the drudgery

Portsmouth – the drudgery

Portsmouth the Doves!

Portsmouth the Doves!

Mr Crawford comforting Fanny when they think Mary and Edmund are engaged

Mr Crawford comforting Fanny when they think Mary and Edmund are engaged

Fanny and Mr Crawford share a moment

Fanny and Mr Crawford share a moment

Maria and Mr Crawford are back on!

Maria and Mr Crawford are back on!

Happy Ending

Happy Ending

This film is more political than other Austen adaptations. Gender inequality, slavery, and family are all examined. If you are looking for a pretty period drama that focuses on romance, then this is probably not for you. I think this adaptation is true to the spirit of Austen’s novel, but takes it much further than Austen did.

More … (I think both of the links below a by the same author, but does such a great job of writing about Austen and in particular the adaptation that I couldn’t resist linking to both).

http://www.jimandellen.org/austen/MPfilms.html

http://reveriesunderthesignofausten.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/four-mansfield-park-movies-the-humiliation-of-the-heroine-begins-to-disappear/

One Response to “Mansfield Park 1999”

  1. […] is my third Mansfield Park adaptation. This one is movie length (120 minutes) like the 1999 version. As it is movie length, some things have to be left out – the trip to Sotherton and the […]

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