Mansfield Park (2007) Movie: Musings & Discussion: Day 13 Give-away!

 

MOVIES

Interestingly, it has been exactly seven months since this adaptation of Mansfield Park aired on PBS during The Complete Jane Austen series last January. I wish that I could say that time has made my heart grow fonder, but a recent re-viewing has not changed my feelings in any respect to my original review, and I am still greatly disappointed in it. It fails as a true adaptation to Jane Austen’s masterpiece for many reasons which I and others have previously pointed out, but I think that I could have overlooked all of its blunders if the screen writer Maggie Wadey had allowed our heroine Fanny Price to have the moral fortitude and principles that Jane Austen had endowed to her in the first place! This Fanny Price is more a flighty Kitty Bennet, ready to follow than act as the moral compass for us to measure the behavior of the rest of characters against, which I believe was Austen’s intension.  

There are some who like this film and there are elements that I enjoyed and appreciated myself. The cast was excellent with one exception. Here are a few images to highlight their performances. 

Fanny Price (Billie Piper) and Edmund Bertram (Blake Ritson) enjoying a ride and discussion on the grounds of Mansfield Park. Piper flopped as Fanny given nothing to work with, and Ritson was not quite staid and moralistic enough, though he was nice eye candy, looking rather like a young Rod Stewart! 

Mary Crawford (Hayley Atwell) was duly devious and alluring and shined in the role. When she was not on screen, I was waiting for her return! Henry Crawford (Joseph Beattie) is a talented actor who I recently enjoyed in Brideshead Revisted, but I wanted him to be stronger and more slippery than the director Iain McDonald would allow. 

Maria Bertram (Michele Ryan) was the ultimate knock-out sultry siren! What man could resist such beauty and charm? Mr. Rushworth (Rory Kinnear) seems to be always portrayed by large slightly pudgy men who are a bit clueless! On this account, the director selected the ideal match to Austen’s intension and Kinnear plays Rushworth perfectly. Julia Bertram (Katherine Steadman) being the second fiddle to her sister Maria is thankless role in the movie and the book. Steadman was, well second fiddle. 

Sir Thomas arrives home from Antigua unexpectedly to discover his children in the throws of a theatrical. The looks on their faces tells all. This part, they got right. 

 

Fanny Price (Billie Piper) in one of her happier moments. Fanny is not given much dialogue with any substance unfortunately.  Piper gives her lots of perk though! 

Mary Crawford (Hayley Atwell) looking at Edmund with impudence and authority. She will make any man who dares to love her tow the line. 

Lady Bertram (Jemma Redgrave) regally lounges on the settee with Pug (Holly). Though not stated in the novel, I often wonder if Lady Bertram is ill or under the influence (as some actors have seemed to portray her). This Lady Bertram actually has opinions and notices her children! 

Henry Crawford (Joseph Beattie) attempts to convince Fanny Price (Billie Piper) to marry him. I never quite felt his intensity and determination as I did in the novel. Austen is so persistent in his pursuit, that at one point, I actually thought that Fanny was wavering and would succumb. This Fanny is not as appalled and repulsed as she should be. 

Edmund Bertram (Blake Ritson) at the exact moment he realizes that Mary Crawford is a fake and rejects her. Ritson is at his best in this scene. 

Fanny and Edmund finally discover that they love each other, all because of the color purple. Go figure! 

Further reading and viewing 

Mansfield Park Madness: Day 13 Give-away!

Leave a comment by August 30th. to be eligible for a drawing on August 31st for one copy of

Mansfield Park (2007)

Adapted by Maggie Wadey, directed by Ian B. MacDonald, an ITV & WGBH production, 92 minutes. Staring Billie Piper as Fanny Price, Blake Ritson as Edmund Bertram and Hayley Atwell as Mary Crawford. 

Upcoming posts
Day 14 – Aug 28          MP novel discussion chapter 41-48
Day 15 – Aug 29          MP: Sequels, Spinoff’s and Retellings
Day 16 – Aug 30          MP: What People Are Saying
Day 17 – Aug 31          MP Madness Roundup & Conclusion

20 thoughts on “Mansfield Park (2007) Movie: Musings & Discussion: Day 13 Give-away!

  1. All in all it was a decent adaptation. I enjoyed Blake’s proformance, but I find something about Billie Piper just wrong. I think it was the style they had her hair in. She just seems too modern for the part.

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  2. Just from looking at the pics above, I agree with Karen, Billy Piper looks loke she doesn’t fit as Fanny. But I would watch it and like the other version, it would be entertaining.

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  3. I agree about the girl not looking exactly how I pictured Fanny but I have high hopes for the movie. I have heard good things. I have yet to see it. I did see the other one from a few years back and I did not enjoy it as much.

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  4. I agree that the movie was far too different from the book. However, I thought that the Bertram sisters were played very well.

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  5. I was very, very disappointed with this adaptation, though I wholeheartedly agree with one of your points: Mr. Rushworth was delightful!

    Fanny’s character was weak, something which she is most decidedly not. For example, this film adaptation had her ready to be a part of the play! She had been pushed and prodded by the others to the point where we actually see her onstage, script in hand – something that never happened in the book. Fanny’s character is not characterized by development. Jane Austen never meant for her to evolve, but to be a steadfast heroine. As Edmund says when he at last confronts Mary Crawford, Fanny’s inner guide is infallible.

    Admittedly, the film’s weak Fanny is the fault of the script. I could not believe that the film actually completely omitted the Portsmouth scene, which is so integral to Fanny’s eventual acceptance of Mansfield Park. The film never allows us to see Fanny’s inner struggle! We never get to see how she at first feels out of place in Mansfield Park, thinking herself a step below the company. We also never get to see how she thinks that, by returning to Portsmouth, she will feel more at home, around those whose societal stature is closer to hers. Yet at Portsmouth, Fanny cannot feel at home. Mansfield Park has changed her. She is now hopelessly delicate, aristocratic, and genteel, unable to live in an environment so noisy, crowded, and unclean. Instead of giving us this illuminating glimpse into Fanny’s character, the film simply leaves her at Mansfield. Ugh!

    On the whole, I completely agree with you. This Fanny = Kitty Bennet. One can only hope that the next MP adaptation will be more faithful to the book.

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  6. I find this adaptation ok and amusing to watch. I agree with Karen and Dina that Billie Piper does not fit Fanny Price from the book. Mary Crawford and Maria Bertram played their parts very well.

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  7. Overall, I liked it version. While Fanny’s character wasn’t portrayed well enough, I enjoyed watching the movie.

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  8. I’m curious about this movie; I haven’t seen it. I’ll have to check when it will be on PBS next. From the pictures I agree with what others have said about Fanny not really looking like Fanny. Edmund does look kind of cute. I also love the actor who plays Sir Thomas; he is Lydgate in the BBC Middlemarch.

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  9. This is my least favourite of the Mansfield Park adaptations. It doesn’t work as an adaptation, but it also doesn’t work as a movie. The Fanny of this adaptation (who is in no way the Fanny of the book) does not seem believable. She’s more of a cindarella type of person, and I find it unbelievable that this Fanny would ever be in love with Edmund, especially when he starts dumping her for Mary. In the least this Fanny would fight for her man or more likely not fall for him in the first place. She’s the kind of girl I se falling for Henry or even Tom…

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  10. I haven’t watched this adaptation yet, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch Billie Piper without expecting to see Dr. Who somewhere.

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  11. I’ve held off seeing this film version until I’ve read the book again. Planning both activities for some of the cold weeks of winter!

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  12. Isn’t it ironic that the giveaway is a film most of us don’t like? I haven’t rewatched this since it first aired, but remember being disappointed for many of the reasons others mentioned: The inexplicable changes in Fanny’s character and leaving out Portsmouth. That being said, I video taped it when it aired and will likely watch again and afterwards will go immediately reread the book!

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  13. I missed this one when it was on tv earlier this year. I’ll have to hold off judgment until I can view this version.

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  14. Not a huge fan of this adaptation, though I will admit to liking Lady Bertram despite her personality change more than I would have liked one who was more faithful to the narrative.

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  15. Oh, I have MANY views on this movie. Firstly: Blake Ritson…*sigh* <3
    Secondly: Mr. Rushworth, Maria and Mary played their parts VERY well, and I thought Edmund was played quiite well.
    Thirdly: The “purple” scene was one of my favourites. My take on it:
    “Fanny: purple.
    Edmunds eyes go wide. *GASP!!!!!* I LOVE FANNY!
    and the rest is history”
    hehe.

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  16. Hello Mansfield Park Madness participants day 13

    The opinions on this adaptation are as varried as the script. Need I say more?

    Hope you al enjoy it.

    Cheers, Laurel Ann

    P.S. Yes Laura, Blake Ritson *sigh*!

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  17. I tried to get this version on Netflix and they sent me the Johnny Lee Miller version in the Billie Piper sleeve. Which would be fine and all but I already own it. I was very annoyed. Here’s to hoping I’ll just win a copy from you!

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  18. Having seen the 1999 verison of Mansfield Park and the BBC version from 1986, I waited with great anticipation for this to premier on Masterpiece Classics. I watched it with disappointment.
    While I’m sure Billie Piper is a fine actress, her portrayal of Fanny was far to casual. Granted, not entirely her fault, she was given a script and direction. I think, however, the one thing that annoyed me the most during the film was her hair. Living as and where she was, even though not born to the Bertram status, she would have been expected to dress and look accordingly but that was just my pet peeve.

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  19. Pingback: Mansfield Park 2007 « Factual Imagining

  20. Like the 1983 version of “MANSFIELD PARK”, I had a great deal of trouble trying to maintain my interest in this movie. It simply bored me. And this is odd for a 90-minute film. As for Billie Piper . . . she gave a solid performance. However, like the literary Fanny and other cinematic versions, Piper’s Fanny retained a good deal of the character’s hypocrisy without acknowledging it. The actors who portrayed the Crawfords were abominable. I’m not referring to their characters’ personalities, but their acting skills.

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