Mansfield Park Season 1
I understand that the novel Mansfield Park can be slow. But prepare to put on safety goggles for how fast this zooms through the plot, lightly skimming the surface of events, to arrive at a screeching halt midway through the movie. Trips to the country, the bumbling Mr. Rushworth, the seduction of Mariah and Julia, Fanny's awkwardness, timidity, and purity, the attic room, and several characters are all cut completely from the adaptation. The main turning point of the novel - the play - happens within the first 20 minutes and is not adequately explained. Sir Bertram becomes a caricature villain, Lady Bertram has a romantic's heart instead of the needy, insipid aunt we all have, and sadly the character of Mrs. Norris really only gets in a few good zingers, but her humor and acerbic nature is completely lost. Edmund might have been a cardboard cutout, and I literally watched this movie for Billie Piper and Hayley Atwell (who coincidentally became friends during filming) and they both massacred the characters. Fanny's natural soft beauty, shyness, embarrassment, duck-footedness was completely steamrolled by the giggling, puppy chasing, loud and blonde Piper. Mary Crawford, seductress, always battling with her inner good nature and the 'evils of society' became a flat, loud-mouthed, completely inappropriate portrait of a harlequin. If Mary Crawford had acted that way in the book, to be sure they would never be allowed at Mansfield. Sisters Mariah and Julia are hardly on screen enough to tell them apart; Henry Crawford fumbles through a few attempts at seduction before cutting to the chase and there's never a hint he might have changed his ways. All in all, extremely disappointing and lackluster performances by both leading ladies, though their cleavage game is strong for a period piece.