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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Live-Blogging PBS' "Jane Austen Season": Part 3, Mansfield Park

The main issue I always have with Mansfield Park and all its adaptations is the COUSINCEST. But I'm a mini-expert on it, having written my 30-page junior paper on the changes feminist post-colonialist film director Patricia Rozema made to Austen' original in her 1997 adaptation. It' a problematic adaptation of a problematic book, but with moments of brilliance.

From what I've heard, this is supposed to be a wanky-ass adaptation with no moments of brilliance.

9:03--Ohmilord. Mr. Bertram is LYDGATE from Middlemarch! He looks old. Life with Rosamond Vincy will do that to ya.

9:05--What is with the voice-over narration? Also, what's with Edmund's Beatle Haircut and Fanny's Courtney-love dye-job? Edmund and Fanny do look like the two leads of an indie-rock hipster band.

9:08: "His life is one long party." 'it may not count, but..." Okay, they're talking like it's like, 2001.

9:10 I know they're the resident baddies, but as characters go in this irritatingest yet endlessly intriguingest of all Austen novels, I LOVE those nasty, scheming Crawfords! Don't reduce them to stereotypes, please. They're too witty for that.

9:12 This is Gossip Girl in corsets. Couple here, couple there. The Crawfords are well on their way to being stereotypes.

9:16 Mary discusses Edmund's career prospects: "Don't be a clergyman; you'd make such a good frontman in an indie-rock band."

9:19 That Mary Crawford, so manipulative, so flirtatious, so bold! God Edmund is such a douche for falling for her. No other word for it.

9:20 Does Fanny do anything in this movie except pout and look sad? Actually, does she do anything in the book except that and have her mind be astutely described by free-indirect discourse?

9:26--Orgy party play's over.

9:31--Everyone in these ITV production is too pretty.

9:32--Fanny has kind of a savant-like quality to her in this adaptation. "Me plain and simple Fanny. Me chase children through library.Hee hee."

9:33--Sez Henry: "All I'm asking is to make a small hole in fanny Price's heart." What un-Austenlike, ridiculous prose. And even a bit too rakish for Henry Crawford.

9:35--Come to think of it, Henry Crawford looks a bit like the lost fifth member of Led Zeppelin. This might a well be re-named Live at Mansfield Mark! So many rockstars.

9:36--A pic-nic instead of a ball. How heretical. At least they included brother William's visit and Henry's sick manipulation of Fanny's fraternal love for her bro to open a hole in her heart.

9:38--During a spirited game of blind mand's buff (ahh, 19th century entertainment) Edmund realizes that Fanny has boobs. Something we all knew quite well already. His entire world is turned upside down. 9:42--Edmund to Fanny: I'm just a cheerful Beatle, but Crawford, Crawford is the granddaddy of heavy metal. His hair is awesome.

9:46-- Oh, smack. Mr. Bertram pulls the I-want-a-word-with-you-but-I'm-gonna-leave-you alone-with-Mr. Crawford-so-he-can-propose trick.

9:50--Lydgate Mr. Bertram is peeshed.

9:55--"Whine, Whine, whine I love Mary." See, this is the thing that always bugs me about Mansfield Park. Edmund is such a drippy drippy douche. He's like the anti-Tilney.?

10:01--This is a terrible terrible sequence of dialogue. Dear god. This is devolving into high melodrama--and it's boring to boot.

10:05--Leeches, Eww.

10:10--Blah blah blah. Now Bertram sees the error of his ways. It's the end of a Hallmark movie.

10:14 In which Edmund finally grows a pair.

10:17 In which E-edmund become H-h-hugh Grant.

10:19--Fanny the savant chases children--AND DOGS!

10:20 First we had the Bath marathon. Now we have the Mansfield one.

10:11--And the movie ends with a kiss!!... between Mr. and Mr. Bertram?

Oh, and a Wedding. And a glittery dress. Nice dress. Oh, and a... waltz? This movie lost me way back there but I just got waltzed back into the action. NOT.


  1. Hilarious as always; it's been a real pleasure to read all your real-time thoughts about these Austen productions. "Me silly and laughing Fanny. Me show boobs and smile a lot while clutching wall in background. Me on 'Doctor Who' which you can't forget while watching me!"

  2. Actually, the "making a small hole in Fanny Price's heart" is from the book:
    "But I cannot be satisfied without Fanny Price, without making a small hole in Fanny Price's heart." (Ch. 24)

    Tho. honestly, why should I even bother defending this horrible, horrible monstrosity? Yech.

  3. Oh dear. I clearly need to keep my mouth--err-- keyboard shut when it comes to what's Austen-like and not. Hah.