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Mansfield Park

Director/Writer:Patricia Rozema
Miramax and BBC Films; PG-13; 105 minutes
Release:11/99
Cast:Frances O'Connor, Jonny Miller, Alessandro Nivola, Harold Pinter

Although set in Jane Austen's 19th-century microcosm of the British gentry, Mansfield Park has its head in the '90s. Based on a novel of wit and decorum, the film adaptation often screams out when understatement is more appropriate.

Poor city girl Fannie Price (Frances O'Connor) gets sent to live with relatives at their magnificent country estate, Mansfield Park, which is financed by the patriarch's slave trading. Playwright Harold Pinter gives an excellent performance as a man edged by darkness from the cost of his wealth. The plot, however, is a stiff parlor game with several women vying for the security and status that marriage will confer.