Monday, September 28, 2009

Movie Review: Mansfield Park (1999)

Release Date: November 19, 1999

Director: Patricia Rozema

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.
Austen purists probably won't appreciate this one...Fanny Price isn't the mellow and submissive heroine from Austen's novel. She writes and she's quite spunky. But if you don't think about that too much and just enjoy the movie for what it is, it's a pleasant surprise. Mansfield Park is my least favorite of Austen's novels so I thought this was a fun interpretation despite the many liberties taken. The acting was also superb and I thought Edmund was pretty darn handsome as well!

Interesting Trivia: Johnny Lee Miller who plays Edmund actually played Fanny's younger brother in the 1983 version of Mansfield Park.

Memorable Quotes:

Fanny Price: Well, Lady Bertram is always suffering near-fatal fatigue.
Susan Price: From what?
Fanny Price: Usually from embroidering something of little use and no beauty... not to mention a healthy dose of opium every day.
Susan Price: Your tongue is sharper than a guillotine, Fanny.
Fanny Price: The effect of education, I suppose.

This is part of the Everything Austen Challenge.


  1. I really like this movie, but I haven't read MAnsfield Park yet so I have no expectations!

  2. I'm really interested in any Austen adaptation and this version of MANSFIELD PARK is in my DVD collection , of course, with the more recent ITV one (2007). I'm going to write about them both for the Everything Austen Challenge. So'll know what I think of the two. Lee Miller will be soon Mr Knightley in the new EMMA -starting in the next weeks on BBC1 - Let's see if he will be a convincing one.

  3. I saw this movie before I read the book. Therefore, I was able to love the movie on it's own merits. And the book, as it's by Austen, was bound to make me happy.

  4. I've been obsessed with Austen for as long as I can remember - perhaps since I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was, like 12.
    And I LOVED the book Mansfield Park.
    And yet somehow, I liked this movie MORE than I liked the book.
    It's one of those rare phenomenon that never should happen but then does.
    You're right, though, it's so different from the book that in this case it definitely should NOT have happened.
    But man, what a good movie!
    (I didn't know there was a 2007 one)

  5. I agree with you - I like the movie on it's own account, but I don't think it is a good adaptation of the actual novel.

    Great review!


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