Culture and Entertainment

Mansfield Park 2007 Movie Commentary

This is a running commentary as I rewatched Mansfield Park. I hadn’t re-watched it in years. I tend to have difficulties watching things straight through when I watch on my computer and phone and this film was begging for instant criticisms! And I have a term paper to avoid writing.

Ugh, I forgot how horrid a lot of this was!

Fanny’s hair is sloppy, short, and childish. The other girls have very modern updos with weird sloppy “tendrils” which look like some sort of bug spirals. Miss Crawford is immodest in a way not period correct, she is more like a nightwalker, not flirting but trying to seduce. Edmund though blind would never fall to someone so bold. I think she is more like a worse version of Cynthia rather than the strumpet she is in this movie. She knows better. Henry looks like a clown. Tom’s hair is sloppy too but not near as bad. I don’t think the dresses are period correct either the waistlines aren’t high enough (too early, I suppose to make them look backwards next to Miss Crawford?) .

Maria is so obvious in the beginning!

The girls are bold not flirtatious. The whole tone of the movie is entirely too modern. The attitude the way the scenes are done the sort of sarcastic feeling. Modern people masquerading in period clothes. I know the other Mansfield Park is much, much worse.

Does anyone else find it fascinating that Henry did really love Fanny in his selfish-Willoughby like manner? I think he was the worse villain, but still Fanny attracts him.

Tom is so roguishly handsome.

The music is so silly and than makes it all ridiculous. And the kiss? People, married couples didn’t kiss in public. Maria was engaged, Just wow all wrong.

And the quoting of those scandalous lines. I think that even the book Tom would have been more offended at his sisters expense. And I don’t think the book Rushworth would’ve done that anyway. They don’t understand other time periods very well.

I assume that putting on plays was considered inappropriate because of the roles in plays and because of the lives of actresses. It tarnished a lady’s name to be associated with it.

They overplay the distinction between Julia and Maria.

And I KNOW that Edmund would never kiss Miss Crawford in such a situation.

Did Fanny really bring up slavery. Aren’t the heroines such “forward minded people”

What is with Maria’s wedding day outfit and hair?!

And I don’t think that Miss Crawford was so bold about her intentions in her speech to Edmund?

The movie is too fast. All these people look bolder for their acquaintance is shorter. There are ways to make time past with seasons, hello!

Oh, William, so handsome and so sweet. Again, though Fanny isn’t a child. And she was quiet and meek and I think easily fatigued.

Haha, the film in which I first learn the British pronounce lieutenant as “left-tenant.”

Oh, yeah, and People didn’t run around house in front of the family and boy cousins don’t go in girl cousins bedrooms . . . they married cousins then so super no no.

Okay the game. I am sure childrens played games like this, but this just another sensual thing for this overtly sensual movie. Sheesh.

“Well I should have known you Miss Price.” Yeah, is a rake and is being one, but Edmund totally deserved the criticism . . . which he probably didn’t feel.

Hah, Henry’s disappointed face when she didn’t grab him after he totally put himself to be grabbed.

Henry is in his shirt sleeves. I do believe that state was considered undressed and probably so even later than the regency or at least very casual as it is pointed out in books.

I saw this movie before the Emma (which was made later), and I really think the actor for Edmund/Mr. Elton plays a much more natural Edmund than Mr. E even though it could seem to be based on first seen bias. He seemed to try a bit too hard as Mr. E although he was funny.

Henry Crawford flirted with the other girls, but proposed to Fanny. Good girls win.

I don’t think Fanny would let him near nor would he have touched her so, bad as he was, he had honorable intentions toward her.

Henry proposed to Fanny twice (of course the second time was when she was left alone at the house in the movie, erm). I am sorry, but guys have got to grow some guts these days. If that rake can try so hard to tie himself to matrimony.  . . I think to that he was going to continue on with trying for Fanny but the Maria affair proved too great a temptation, at least that is the impression I received from the book long ago.

I don’t think she would have permitted the constant hand holding, kissing, massaging. The fact that Mr. Knightly seemed about to kiss Emma’s hand (and they had know each other all her life) was made much of in  the book since he had never done it before (and didn’t actually end up kissing her hand). So it was a big deal.

And she wouldn’t have let him get near her enough to try to kiss. I don’t think the movie showed that he did care for her. It made it seem that it was all about his ego, but it wasn’t.

Okay, and the illness, another gratuitous sensual scene along with gratuitous ick!

Here my computer crashed, so I took up finishing it on my phone yesterday. So I will scramble a few more thoughts (most of these written are ones I have thought before about the film).

Edmund’s repulse of Miss Crawford doesn’t really make total sense because the movie in so sensual it doesn’t portray the period morals clearly, so it just looks weird that he suddenly has a conscience despite the fact that he fell in love with someone who dressed as she did and pulled up her skirt. He just seems wishy-washy.

Seriously the bedroom stuff. She is in her nightgown. Dude really. Again, you cannot portray period morals believable when everyone is acting like this.

Oh, and was their new dance the waltz? During the regency in England is wasn’t danced while it was in the more scandalous France. (Another mistake in one of the Emma movies; I read that they danced country dances to waltz music, and this is what the waltz in the book referred to).

I do enjoy this story. It is easy to pretend they aren’t cousins (not so easy in Rose in Bloom). And I do love the end of this movie (although what is it with running scenes and terribly unrealistic timing? Fanny hadn’t been gone long enough for her to have gone very far even if Edmund had gotten the scissors which I am pretty sure he didn’t). I know Mrs. Bertram wasn’t as aware of the world in the book, but I am glad they made her a bit smarter if only for the adorable scene between the two at the end and the way she connives at ridiculous besotted Edmund. I am glad Fanny teased him. I don’t think she was quite the Fanny of the book though, especially not in that.

I am off to rewatch the end on my computer this time. I have had papers to write, and I have my longest yet plus another small one and then a final next week. After that I can be better, and more grammatical, with my posts.


  • Lizzie

    I agree with almost all your thoughts! Personally, I do think Blake Ritson makes a better Mr. Elton than Edmund… like you pointed out, Edmund seems a bit wishy-washy in this adaptation, which isn't necessarily the fault of the actor, I suppose, but I just don't like him very much. 😉

    Regarding the English country dance waltzes, I actually experienced that recently! My sister and I, along with a couple of our friends tried out a local English country dance, and we danced a "waltz" which was very much like regular English country dancing, and nothing like a modern waltz with the close ballroom hold. I really wish all these Austen adaptations had authentic propriety!

  • Livia Rachelle

    Oh, I actually meant I like him better as Edmund. He seemed to try too hard for Mr. Elton; he was ridiculous rather than merely extravagantly flirtatious, more like Mr. Collins than I think he was supposed to be. I think for some of the books the milder characters seem to movie makers as equalling wishy-washy or just awkward (like Edward Ferrars in the Hugh Grant version).

    How fun about the dance. Yeah, the historical questionableness of these movies drives me nuts sometimes.

  • Lizzie

    Yes, I understood that, it's my fault, I didn't make it clear in my comment that that's my one disagreement. Personally, I actually liked how hard he tried as Mr. Elton, because I think it fit the character – trying really hard to be who he thought Emma would like. I think he came off as a big fake, which is exactly what I imagined… whether that's genius characterization or a sign of bad acting… well. I just took it as the former. I completely agree with you about poor Edward's character in the Hugh Grant S&S! Very unappealing.

    It's very irksome… and in the case of some (if not all) of these movies, I think the modernization is intentional. I know Joe Wright (director of 2005 Pride & Prejudice) tried to alter the characters and lines to be more "relatable" for a modern audience… unfortunately, in my opinion. For me, the historical authenticity and differences from modern life is one of the main draws of period dramas!

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