Mansfield Park Reviews
Skip this production in favor of any other. I especially enjoyed Patricia Rozema's Mansfield Park, which incorporates many Austen-isms and delivers Jane Austen with an impish sense of fun.
The casting - which I now consider perhaps the most important part of a screen adaptation of a book - was a mixed bag. I thought Fanny was very well portrayed, but I never did get used to swarthy Edmund. Henry Crawford was too stiff and had too much of an air of arrogance; he was not at all as easy going as I expected. A fine job was done with Aunt Norris and poor Mr. Rushworth, but Mr. Yates bordered on ridiculous, and Lady Bertram was downright so.
The first episode of the mini-series depicted the childhood years well, and I liked the way the series used Fanny's letters to William to move the story along.
After doing such a great job with the rest of the book in the first five episodes, the sixth and final episode was a little disappointing. The conclusion seemed to come about suddenly and without much basis, and we didn't see Sir Thomas's reflections on parenting, nor his ultimate satisfaction in Fanny in light of his disappointments elsewhere.
I didn't know Austen could be so generally dull.
The Janeites that are purists point to this film as better than all others. While, I own that the film is quite faithful to the book, the liberties taken in the 1999 version make that one a far better rendition. This version had lousy sound, cheesy acting, weird casting and lacked movement of plot.
But overall, pretty good effort.