38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
One star is being generous,
This review is from: Mansfield Park [DVD]  (DVD)
Mansfield Park is Jane Austen's "problem" book and one that requires exceptional delicacy when being adapted. Unfortunately, the makers of this film don't even begin exploring the ambiguities of the novel and the result resembles an episode of that ghastly "Regency House Party" reality TV show I remember catching an episode of a few years back- 21st century role-playing bores waltzing around in fancy dress. Far more Barbara Cartland than Jane Austen. The cast is awful and Billie Piper is completely miscast as Fanny Price. It's always going to be a thankless role as modern readers seem utterly unable to appreciate her quiet strength. She is not Elizabeth Bennet, so please stop trying to turn her into an Eliza prototype. I think Austen made her heroines very different from one another for a reason. The only performance of any merit is Douglas Hodge's well judged Sir Thomas, and Hayley Atwell is very pretty as Mary Crawford.
A lazy, obnoxious adaptation of a complex and perplexing novel that must surely rank amongst the worst literary adaptations ever made. To be avoided at all costs.
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Initial post: 19 Apr 2008 16:54:38 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Apr 2008 16:55:59 BDT
Deborah Elle says:
This is a very interesting review, which I have just read after adding my own. It is true, I think, that the difficulty of the novel (as you say, Fanny NOT the most instantly warming and attractive of Austen's heroines, and a novel that seems to unite critics about the uncomfortable things it leaves out of its framework) demands that someone with subtlety, appreciation and insight should attempt it. Leaving myself wide open to the criticism of being a Jane-ite, I do think this was an effort to make her more modern, more populist, more accessible - when there is no need to do any of these things. Not all books are for all readers: this production of Mansfield is, surely, not one for too many viewers?
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