I have a few more thoughts to add about the ITT/ Masterpiece adaptation of Mansfield Park. After watching this show again, and already over my initial disappointment, I wanted to add a few things about the outdoor dancing.
Why was Fanny Price’s ‘coming out ball’ replaced with a picnic? It is our of character because I don’t think she would have stood up to Sir Thomas to object to his suggestion. But Fanny’s character is changed in this movie, so I guess she could have had a ball, picnic, or gone skydiving and it wouldn’t matter that much as far as being out of character. My guess is that budgetary restrictions were the guiding factor. The costs of using a real room in a great house, and the work involved in fitting it up and then restoring it back for the owner was probably prohibitive, though as far as I’m concerned they could have saved money by hiring a lesser known actress who may have actually read the novel.
And then why through in the second dance after the wedding? It was out of place and Fanny would never have been the one to introduce the waltz to the local society.
In my opinion Fanny is one of the best creatures ever written up and a credit to Jane Austen that no one can touch her. No one has come close to the sweetness and the sadness and the complexity. I still hope to see the real Fanny on screen someday.
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