Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mansfield Park 1999

I have, for many months, been avoiding this version of Mansfield Park. I had been doing this because...

1. I had heard it was a complete and utter travesty and nothing like the original novel,
2. I wasn't sure how an Austen adaptation could be rated a 15 (!!!), and
3. The opinions and reviews I had read about it made it sound like a really awful film.
But, I wanted to have a version of Mansfield Park which I would choose to watch. After reading the novel, I soon after watched the 2007 version with Billie Piper, and I hesitate to call it an adaptation of the novel...

It was so short, meaning the story was barely recognisable and the way it was edited missed out so many major points in the plot; such as the trip to Portsmouth and her coming-out ball (which turned into a picnic!) As well the plot being completely mashed up, I didn't think the acting was all that special and I think just to try and get a novel the length of Mansfield Park down to an hour and a half film is just not possible! (Its not too bad if I watch it and think of it as a film based on Mansfield Park instead of an adaptation of the novel!)
A few weeks later I saw the BBC series made in 1983. This was a long series (over 5 hours!) and sometimes you could tell it was made a little while ago (the camera work or the sets) and the acting was a little stiff from time to time. Otherwise, I thought it wasn't bad. It was very accurate, which I liked, and on the whole, not bad. So, this one became my favourite adaptation. But, its too long to watch in an evening! So, a few weeks after, I thought I would give the 1999 version a shot, especially as the complete film was on YouTube in parts ;) And, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Firstly, the plot and accuracy to the novel.  I was surprised. It was edited, of course as it is only a 2 hour film, but it was edited well, and they most important parts were kept in, I think. The parts that were included were very accurate and it was much more recognisable as Mansfield Park!

Next, the actors. I thought everyone acted there parts very well.
I really enjoyed the performance from Frances O' Connor. Her portrayal of Fanny was, I will admit, a little more confident than she appears in the novel, but I thought it was an interesting take on her character and I really enjoyed it.
I also thought the performance from Johnny Lee Miller as Edmund Bertram was brilliant! I think what I particularly liked was that at the beginning, before he became completely besotted with Mary Crawford, he didn't act as though he was completely ignorant of Fanny, and there was a hint of the strong admiration he had for her, which I think helped in making the realisation of his real love Fanny more realistic and not so sudden.
All the other characters were well portrayed as well!

There were 2 scenes which is what I think makes the rating a 15. These did not ruin the film for me.

The music was lovely in this version, as was the scenery and the sets. So, overall, it was a great film and a great adaptation of Mansfield Park I thought, and I now have a version of Mansfield Park I can watch in an evening, and would choose to watch.

What did you think of it? I know some might disagree with me!

Your affectionate friend,
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  1. I personally love this version of Mansfield Park. While I haven't read the book yet, I prefer this version to the other versions. I've had arguments over this with friends who think it wasn't as accurate to the book as the Billie Piper version. But I guess I will have to read the book for my argument to hold up :)

    1. I Really loved it as well! If comparing the accuracy to the novel of 99 and 07 it has to be 99! 07 is so not accurate! She never leaves MP! In the novel, she does!!

  2. I was kinda afraid to watch it before, having heard that they ruined it, but maybe I'll try it. How bad were the two parts?

    1. I didn't think they were too bad, and I think a 12 would have been ok.

      Spoilers technically... but im sure you know the story.

      1st scene: It is hinted at in the novel that Sir Thomas buisness in Antigua is slavery, but not explicitly stated. It is more in the film. Fanny finds some drawing done by Tom during his time in Antigua and they show slaves not being treated well. They are only drawings, but a little distressing. They became less distressing at the end of the film as Sir Thomas dropped the slavery and started a new business, which is good :)

      2nd scene: The plot changes a little at the end. When Tom gets Ill, instead of the whole situation between Crawford and Maria happening where she lives (London/Brigton can't remember which), Maria returns to Mansfield when she hears of Tom illness, and Crawford also turns up with Mary.
      Fanny walks in on them, in the bedroom. But, all you see is a bit of naked flesh (mostly his skin) and only for a few seconds.

      So, after what I had heard, I was expecting worse.

  3. I agree! For a long time I'd been wanting to watch the 1999 version, and I finally got around to it on Friday was quite fantastic, I must confess. There are a few things that I liked better about the 2007 version, but the 1999 version showed Edmund to recognize Fanny so much more. It is definitely a movie that I would like to buy :)

    1. I thought it was brilliant as well! Great to have a good version of MP which I want to watch!
      what did you like better in the 07 version? out of interest.
      But Edmund was so much better, and not so indifferent to Fanny, which is great!
      I ordered it on amazon and it has just arrived! yay! :D

  4. Well for one, I thought Mariah was much prettier and better in the 07 version. And I just thought the scene was adorable when Edmund went to Fanny's room to tell her something and completely forgot what he was going to say in the 07 one lol. It was so cute, and I wish it had been in the older version. I liked the way Mary Crawford looked better in the 07 version, but then again, she was much sweeter to Fanny in the older one. So I like them both :)

    1. I loved that scene!! Really sweet!
      She was a lot nicer in the 99 yes, and prettier in 07. I preferred Henry in 99. :) and Tom I think...

  5. It's for now the only adaptation of Mansfield Park I saw (a few days ago, actually) and I love it ! I didn't enjoy the book as well as others Jane Austen's novel, and I read it a long time ago, but I really enjoyed the movie ! Now I am so afraid to watch the 2007 series... But I will >.< Anyway, I agree with you ! Frances O'Connor is really nice, she made a great Fanny. SOrry if there's any faults, I'm French =S (but I watch all my movies and series in English ^^)

    Your blog is awesome ;)

    1. I love it as well! :D
      It is also my least favourite Austen, still good, but compared to the others, not my favourite. But, I agree, the movie was great! Let me know what you think of the 2007 one, it isn't as good and the story is very different I warn you!
      Your english is brilliant! especially to watch the series anf films as well!!

      thank you! I hope you enjoy past and future posts :)

    2. Er, I would say my least favourtie Austen is Persuasion. I think I will watch the other adaptation of Mansfield Park after my tests at the end of December, then I will share my opinion about it ;)
      I am glad my english is understandable, I was not quite sure because I had some troubles with speaking when I went to Scotland last summer. English is such a difficult language to pronounce for me !
      Your blog is in my favorite ones, so I will often come and read your new post =) It is nice to write in English in another place than school and to get an answer, so thank you !

    3. Persuasion is the one with the least comedy I think (though it does have some) it is a much more serious novel. Good lucks with your tests and I look forward to hearing what you think about it :)
      English is such a difficult language to pronounce and learn, I am glad I am english! Do you mind me asking you how old you are? Because your english is pretty much perfect!
      ^_^ aww thanks! I am glad it is one of your favourites!
      Your welcome! I always reply to my blog readers, as i really appreciate the feed back on my blog and I am very greatful if they have taken the time to read it AND comment on it :) So, I always try reply :) its my way of saying thanks :)

    4. Thanks, I hope I will pass them easily...
      I am 21 =) Before I came to university - do you say "college" for "university" in England ? - I understood, spoke and wrote English very badly and then I met the boy who became my boyfriend. He watched a lot of series (American for the most) so I started to watch with him, then we watch movies in English too. We don't stop and I even tried to read in English. I read for the thousand times Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and recently I read The Professor by Charlotte Brontë. I will go on with English books ^^
      I would like very much my English to be perfect but the American people, especially in series, speak a very bad language...
      You know, for a 16 years old girl, you write very well ! Before I see your profile, I thought you were my age or above !

    5. I am sure you will! :)
      Wow! Your english is truely amazing!
      We say school for ... school and college for the later years of school and then university for university... I didn't explain that well... hang on.. let me try and remember my french...
      école - school (age 11 - 16)
      collège - college (age 16-18) or sometimes it is still just called school, we cool it 6th Form.
      université - university (18-21, or when ever you go to university!)
      Aww that is sweet! I will talk to you about this more when I email you :D

      aww you are so kind! I am glad I seem more mature :) That is a big compliment and means a lot to me so thank you!


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