Parents' Guide to

Mansfield Park

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Wonderful book adaptation with strong female protagonist.

Movie PG-13 1999 112 minutes
Mansfield Park Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 15 parent reviews

age 18+

Hollywood filthy crap...again!

The storyline is scattered and the whole movie is rather boring. The acting is subpar and the whole movie seems to be more along the lines of a B film. There are questionable scenes throughout the movie and the sex scene is explicit! This movie should not have a PG-13 rating. It should have had an R rating. I wish I had read the reviews before having started to watch this trash called Mansfield Park.
age 18+

Contains shockingly violent images

I was really shocked as this movie contains explicit images of sexual violence and physical violence. I never would have expected this. If I did know I wouldn't have watched this movie. It is not accurate to the novel. It seems to go in for shock value. Why can't they stay true to the book instead of making things that will appeal to "modern audiences"!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (15 ):
Kids say (7 ):

This is not your mother's MANSFIELD PARK. Director Patricia Rozema has effectively removed the book's frail and mousy -- if resolutely honorable -- heroine and replaced her with some amalgam of Austen's feistier characters plus a dash of Austen herself. Then she throws in a bit of Jo March, Susan B. Anthony, and even Scarlet O'Hara for good measure. The movie version's heroine is far more cinematic than the Fanny Price of the book, and the adaptation works remarkably well. Less successful is the attempt to import 20th-century sensibility on issues such as slavery (Fanny's wealthy relatives own slaves in the West Indies) and some wild anachronisms (Fanny lies casually on her bed while she talks to her male cousin; neighbor Mary Crawford even more casually smokes a small cigar).

The movie is sumptuously produced. Australian actress Frances O'Connor is terrific as Fanny. To use one of Austen's favorite words, she is "lively," but she also is able to show us Fanny's unshakable honor and dignity. Playwright Harold Pinter is outstanding as Lord Bertram. One of the great moral crises of the book is whether the young people should put on a play (Answer: They should not because it would create too great an intimacy). But Austen never shied away from having characters make ineradicable moral and social mistakes, and most of her books feature at least one couple who runs off together without getting married and suffers some serious consequences. Perhaps in frustration over the difficulty of making those actions seem real to today's audiences, or perhaps simply as a way of making a classic work seem unstuffy, this movie has more implicit and explicit sexuality than we have seen in other movies based on Austen's books (except maybe Clueless).

Movie Details

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