Published: July 1814
Publisher: Thomas Egerton
Movie Date: November 19, 1999
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.
What I thoughtI have to admit, this wasn't my favorite of Jane Austen's novels. I still liked it, however, but I did prefer Emma and Northangor Abby over this one. I have now watched two adaptations of this book. The first, the Billie Piper version, I have to admit, I hated. Completely. I couldn't stand her in the role of Fanny and had decided to swear off all other versions of this movie. But, alas, I didn't hold to it.
I had been browsing through the dramas looking for a great period piece on Netflix and this version kept popping up. At first I scoffed. Actually scoffed. I skipped over it. But soon, the movie cover really started to appeal to me. And I passed over it a few more times. Until, finally, I had exhausted all other movies.
Surprisingly, I loved it! I hadn't thought I would. While I liked the book when I read it, I have never revisited the book like I have Jane Austen's other work. I loved Frances O'Connor as Fanny. I thought she did a great job. I felt myself become invested in her prospects, like I hadn't with Billie Piper. Plus, Jonny Lee Miller is not so hard to look at!
I think this movie captured the story really well. I don't remember much, but I think the only big difference was that Henry Crawford (Oh, this man was yummy in this movie!) was actually in love with Fanny. In the book, which this may be wrong, I had thought he was in it as a challenge, not because he had actually fallen in love with Fanny.
I might not revisit the book, but I definitely am adding this movie to my favorites! It was charming, romantic, emotional and stuck pretty well to the original story.
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