Monday, January 28, 2008

Mansfield Park

The Book: Phew, that was a long one...nearly twice as long as Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. I do remember reading this one in high school and thinking, "Ew, cousins, weird." But, I'm over it now. My favorite part of this book is the last 100 pages, where all the action is packed. Jane Austen sure doesn't let you wallow in the happy conclusion for long. Just one page of something like, "And they got together and lived happily ever after." Not much to swoon over really. Still, I think this is a great book for its interesting social commentary on the time and to compare and contrast how much has/has not really changed.

The Movie: I should say from the outset that I liked this one better than Northanger Abbey. But since the book was twice as long as the others, and we were still cramming the story into an hour and half, a LOT gets chopped and reworked. I was mostly disappointed that we never got to see the gross house of chaos in Portsmouth or meet Susan or Yates. Although I liked Fanny in the movie, she was certainly much more perky and sprite than the amoeba Austen portrays her to be who can't go for short walk without getting "fagged" or "knocked up." And in case you haven't read the book, none of that stuff at the end actually happened (see above). I have to say I think the person who played Mary Crawford really nailed the character. And I liked that, for the most part, the characters looked really similar to how I imagined them in my head.

Next up: Miss Austen Regrets (which seems a lot like Becoming Jane) followed by Pride and Prejudice. The Colin Firth version of P&P will be shown over the last three weeks in February. If you haven't seen it before, I command you to watch. Having just received the DVDs for Christmas and having watched it myself over New Year's, I am not planning tune in. I'm going to give myself a little Jane Austen respite and try and get some other stuff read before the end of February when I will pick up Pride and Prejudice once more.


Paige said...

It has been long enough since I read Mansfield that I knew the movie wasn't being accurate but I couldn't remember exactly what was wrong. I did like the Fanny actress and I'm glad that they made her so endearing and more energetic, she grew on me.

Lynn said...

I liked this version MUCH more than the movie that came out a few years ago, they really messed up Lord Thomas and his son. Still, it would have been nice if the younger Thomas had gotten straightened out after his sickness, as Jane Austin wrote.

Tricia said...

Paige--I agree. I liked Fanny in the movie much better than Fanny in the book.

Lynn--I never saw the other version. Should I? I also agree that they didn't portray the Thomas who had changed his wicked ways accurately at all. Reading the racing news...ridiculous!

Becky said...

I didn't care much for the book or the movie. It's hard to watch a film version of a book I didn't like and actually enjoy it. But--that being said--I actually liked the 1999 version of Mansfield Park. I think you either love it or hate it. I know it upset a lot of people because it was nothing like the book. But I think that's the reason I liked it. Fanny (movie) was nothing like Fanny (book).