Mansfield Park - Patricia Rozema, Frances O'Connor, James Purefoy, Jonny Lee Miller
Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities
Director Patricia Rozema's daring adaptation of Mansfield Park is a witty look at romance and reality, Jayne Austen-style. Rozema has taken Jayne Austen's third and most controversial novel and infused its lead character with the irrepressible essence of Austen's own life and writings. The result is an original portrait of a strong-willed, spirited heroine at its centre who, à la Austen, attempts to outsmart a dizzying labyrinth of marriage and social status - without compromising her ideals or her heart.
This is the story of Fanny Price (Frances O'Connor), who emerges from this comedic maze of manners having discovered the rightness of true love. Fanny Price is 10 years old (Hannah Taylor-Gordon) when she is shipped from her rat-infested, hard-luck Portsmouth home to live with her wealthy relatives - the Bertrams - in Mansfield Park.
Seen as inferior to her aristocratic family, Fanny is reminded daily that the other family members have every advantage over her. The only flickers of kindness amidst this prejudice emerge from Edmund Bertram (Jonny Lee Miller), who shares Fanny's passion for dreams and storytelling, as well as her uncommon sensitivity. At Mansfield Park Fanny pours her amusing insights, deep feelings and fierce intelligence into secret letters, journals and other writings, sharing them only with Edmund. The grown-up Fanny is alluring and vital with a tongue as sharp as a guillotine.
This is the Fanny who greets Henry and Mary Crawford (Alessandro Nivola and Embeth Davidtz), a modern-thinking, dangerously charming brother and sister pair from London who set off sparks the moment they arrive at Mansfield Park. As Fanny becomes the must-have object of Henry Crawford's affections, her status is radically uplifted. But when Henry Crawford proposes to Fanny, she must make an agonising decision. Her actions throw Mansfield Park into a comic tailspin of adultery, betrayal and truth-telling, from which will emerge, among other things, a deliciously reluctant romance that slowly simmers to a union of true love.
Theatrical propaganda posters
Target demographic movie keyword propaganda
- Film drama romance society wit Jane Austen
Persons of interest
- Hannah Taylor-Gordon .... Young Fanny
- Talya Gordon .... Young Susan 'Susie'
- Lindsay Duncan .... Mrs Price/Lady Bertram
- Bruce Byron .... Carriage Driver
- James Purefoy .... Tom Bertram
- Sheila Gish .... Mrs Norris
- Harold Pinter .... Sir Thomas Bertram
- Elizabeth Eaton .... Young Maria
- Elizabeth Earl .... Young Julia
- Philip Sarson .... Young Edmond
- Amelia Warner .... Teenage Fanny
- Frances O'Connor .... Fanny Price
- Jonny Lee Miller .... Edmund Bertram
- Victoria Hamilton .... Maria Elizabeth Bertram
- Hugh Bonneville .... Mr Rushworth
- Justine Waddell .... Julia Frances Bertram
- Embeth Davidtz .... Mary Crawford
- Alessandro Nivola .... Henry Crawford
- Charles Edwards .... Yates
- Sophia Myles .... Susan 'Susie' Price
- Hilton McRae .... Mr Price
- Anna Popplewell .... Betsey
- Gordon Reid .... Dr Winthrop
- Jane Austen .... Author
- Patricia Rozema .... Screenwriter
- Patricia Rozema .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- Awards and film festivals:
- See also Becoming Jane
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
Lots of people run around in funny clothes talking about the most polite things while doing the least. As far as a potential audience goes, it's mostly the ABC crowd who get off on their bi-monthly dose of English period classics brought to the screen. Jayne Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë... you know to whose society I am referring.
If you're not a big fan of Channel 2 you'll still find it an entertaining watch, as long as you can get your head around the language. It's not as obtuse as Shakespeare but you will find yourself occasionally sitting back and wondering what this all has to do with speaking English. Living English is a different matter: you'll find yourself occasionally sitting back and wondering at how little people have changed in the past few hundred years. Greed, lust, snobbery, love, bitchiness and all the glories of social stratification. The British class system not as bad as the Hindu caste system but that's like saying manslaughter isn't as bad as murder. Try telling it to the victim.
I enjoyed watching Mansfield Park, being something of an ABC watcher (it's mine, after all), and even though it wasn't The Bill, it was still pretty good.
Security censorship classification
M (Medium level sex scene)
108 minutes (1:48 hours)