Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Comic Romance for Valentine's Day

Our International Film Series has a British theme for February and March, with a controversial adaptation of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park on Valentine's Day, Tuesday, February 14, at 6:30 p.m. This 1999 film directed by Patricia Rozema has divided viewers into two camps: Austen purists expressed displeasure, while everyone else seemed to love it. While a surprisingly close adaptation of Austen's novel, the main character, Fanny, has been enhanced to reflect Austen's own rather feisty character as found in her own letters and other writings. In addition, accurate historical events that remained murky in Austen's original novel are brought to light: namely, the fact that the financial underpinnings for the estate where Fanny is sent to live come for Sir Henry Crawford's business dealings in Antigua--and hence from British involvement in the slave trade. This is a wise, witty, alternately funny and heartbreaking adaptation of the book that Austen said was her own favorite among her novels. Starring Frances O'Connor and Jonny Lee Miller.

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