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Mansfield Park Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This is an uncommonly intelligent film, smart and amusing too, and anyone who thinks it is not faithful to Austen doesn't know the author but only her plots.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Andy Seiler

    Not since Demi Moore lived happily ever after in "The Scarlet Letter" has a filmmaker felt so free to fudge a famous plot.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The Australian actress Frances O'Connor is a true find. She's as beautiful as the young Barbara Hershey, with a stare that's pensive yet playful, and she puts us in touch with the quiet battle of emotions in Fanny.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Wonderful book adaptation with strong female character.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are mature conversations having to do courtship (including same-sex) and marriage in this period romance. Some messages regarding slave life and its myths could be offensive to viewers (ie. "Mulattoes are like mules, they cannot breed with each other.") However, the heroes in this movie assert that slavery of any kind is wrong, and should be abolished. Some drinking, and one character is addicted to opium. A couple is caught having sex, showing skin on skin, with bare breasts partially visible. African slaves on a ship bound for Antigua are referred to as "darkies." Mild profanity on occasion such as "bastard." Fanny finds a sketchbook in which slaves are depicted being whipped, flogged, lynched, and raped. The slave women in the notebook are topless.

  • Families can talk about some of the issues raised by the movie, including the family's dependence on slaves in the West Indies to maintain their luxurious lifestyle. What do you know about this time period? How do you imagine you would have felt about slavery had you lived then?
  • Talk about the limited options available to women that led Fanny's cousin Maria to insist on marrying a foolish -- but wealthy -- man. How have gender roles changed since this time period? What is our modern perspective on Fanny and Maria? How is it different from how many would have viewed them in their own time?
  • Are period films appealing? What techniques do filmmakers use to transport us back in time? Are some techniques more effective than others?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: For early 19th century Britain, the views of many of the characters on women's independence and the slave trade are remarkably progressive. The importance of being true to yourself and not compromising your values for the sake of wealth or safety is shown throughout, through discussion and example.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Fanny Price is imaginative, hardworking, and true to her values, a woman who uses her mind to better her position. While she is well aware of her position in a stratified society such as early 19th century Britain, she is nonetheless unafraid to speak her mind when the situation warrants it.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Fanny finds a sketchbook in which slaves are depicted being whipped, flogged, lynched, and raped.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A couple is caught having sex, with bare breasts partially visible. While rehearsing for a somewhat racy play, a woman asks the men around her, "Which one of you shall I make love to?" Some kissing, mild flirtation. The breasts of women in a sketch are exposed.

  • language false2

    Language: African slaves on a ship bound for Antigua are referred to as "darkies." Mild profanity on occasion: "bastard," "damn, "godamn."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Fanny's aunt is addicted to liquid opium, which causes her to nod in and out of conversations. Many scenes depict characters drinking and smoking socially; one character returns home on horseback stumbling drunk and slurring his speech.