Monday, January 28, 2008

Mansfield Park

Film: Mansfield Park
Like/Don't Like: Don't like. I guess. I'm getting tired.

Oh, it's been years since I've read Mansfield Park. And I remember it not being my most favorite of her books. Big surprise, I can't remember why. Curse this memory of mine! But I do remember characters and the plot and I've seen the version that came out in 1999 a number of times so I'm not wholly unfamiliar with it. I feel like I'm just repeating myself here so I'll give you the abridged version: It was too short and too chopped up. No continuity. What happened to all the characters. 90 minutes is not enough time, blah, blah, blah. The ending was very sweet and romantic so it left me with moderately good feelings and I felt that everyone, with the exception of Fanny* was well casted. But there were several times during the show that I felt like just chucking it all and going to bed. It didn't grab my attention at all.

And it was too modern**. It felt like I was watching a dress rehearsal of a plucky young troupe of actors pulling something together at a country estate and their hair people hadn't shown up yet so they had to do it themselves. Which brings me to my real criticism. Hair. It's a shame Fanny couldn't stroll down to the local merchant and pick up a box of Miss Clairol Ashy Blonde to touch up her roots. I'm pretty sure that woman in Jane Austen's time had eyebrows that matched their hair color. And Edmund's looked like it was styled by some emo kid with too much gel on his hands. Distracting, to say the least.

*I will NOT say anything about her unfortunate overbite. No I will not.
**"Hold the phone," you're saying. "Wasn't the 1999 version really modern too?" True. But it was also beautifully done. Loosely based, yes. Liberties abounded. But as a film, very nice to watch.

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