I had known for over a year that there were new Jane Austen adaptations in the works, had heard about them from acquaintances who were privileged enough to see them when they premiered in Britain, and I had even written down the US airing dates on a sheet of paper...somewhere. I checked the PBS Masterpiece website a month or so ago, just to make sure I knew exactly what was coming. With all of that anticipation and preparation, I still managed to miss the first two adaptations. Very annoying.
Last night, however, I remembered that "Mansfield Park" was going to be showing. Bean and I had to get some studying done....the sort that can't compete with Jane, so my mother set the TiVo to record it. Rather than doing the responsible thing and watching the State of the Union address tonight, we watched "Mansfield Park." (And drank chocolate tea, of all things.)
I was pleasantly surprised. MP is probably my least favorite of Jane Austen's novels, and I have always had a hard time warming to the main characters (especially Edmund) , but the movie allowed them to be charming and likable. The movie was a little too short and thus a little shallow. There was very little off Jane's original dialogue, which was definitely missed, and I am ambivalent about the casting of Fanny. The actress was a little too awkward and gawky, and the running around (hair wild!) bugged me a little. Someone in my literature class this afternoon had complained that, although the movie was good, Fanny Price was too "pretty." I have to disagree....she was far from being too pretty, either by Regency or modern standards.
Edmund was lovely. Something about the way he was played really charmed me, and I still can't figure out what it was.
Over all, I have to say that I approve. It was by no means a perfect adaptation, but I enjoyed watching it, and I felt like I got a good dose of Austen
Next Sunday evening will bring "Miss Austen Regrets" with the lovely Olivia Williams (who will always be Jane Fairfax to me, although no other casting from that particular version of "Emma" has stayed with me.)