Movies in May: Grab some popcorn and watch Mansfield Park with me! Part 2 — 7 Comments

  1. This part of the story is where the true natures of Henry and Mary Crawford are becoming apparent. Obviously, both are not as concerned with the limits of society. Remarkable that the “child” Fanny is the only one that sees beyond their polish.

  2. I always found that pretty interesting too, Maggie. She often seemed to be the only one with insight in the entire family.

  3. Jane Austen and her family enjoyed many hours of amateur theatricals . Quite often they wrote their own plays. Performing in a play at home wasn’t wrong in and of itself ( except to the Evangelicals) . Edmund objects to the play because of the content and their situation with the father away,and Maria unofficially engaged. He objects to performing before an audience of outsiders.
    Our JASNA chapter once had a hilarious time performing Lover’s vows with characters from a TOY Theatre. Most of the people present that day whether moving characters or just as an audience said that acting out the play showed the objectionable parts more clearly. Edmund even remarks that professional actors and actresses can say words and embrace members of the opposite sex without allowing emotions to become involved but amateurs couldn’t. Henry took advantage of that to capture Maria and then dropped her. It had disastrous affect on Julia and Maria.
    I like the costumes and settings of the films but find most distort the books too much to enjoy as a work by Jane Austen. Too often the film makers add things to the film that Austen wouldn’t have accepted and which run counter to her work and beliefs. This happens most often with films of Mansfield Park. Directors and screenwriters have stated publicly that they dislike Fanny Price as Austen wrote her and so make her over into the person they want her to be. Quite a few give modern sensibilities and opinions to her characters.

  4. PS In this film Billie Piper is about as far physically from the description of Fanny Price as it is possible to be. Fanny doesn’t bounce, run, or jump around. She is wearing stays so her bosom doesn’t bounce. Her hair would be up around age 16 , and definitely by the time she could go out to dinner. Fanny is described as being physically weak, easily fatigued, and not looking very robust. She is harassed by Mrs. Norris and not allowed much time to walk in the sun except to fetch things in the heat . One point of the novel is that Fanny has moral strength even if she doesn’t have physical strength. The horseback riding was to have been for her physical benefit– how easily Edmund is swayed from her by a charming female.
    Fanny is seldom depicted in the movies as Jane wrote her in the book with more moral strength than physical and she certainly would never bounce, jiggle, and wiggle.

  5. Maria is such a flirt and being alone with Mr. Crawford was highly inappropriate. He, of course, has no morals and to try and make Fanny love him is despicable. I think Fanny was a better study of character than Elizabeth!

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