January 29, 2008
Hair, There and Everywhere...
It was so very unsettling this week on Mansfield Park to see an Austen heroine sans that slicked-back, pulled-so-tight-it-may-as-well-have-been-a-Regency-facelift bun with the curly fringe all around. Oh no, our dear Fanny Price had a mane of unruly, unkempt, flowing blonde hair that, while not matching the color of her eyebrows, rivaled the equally unkempt hair of the two bad boys in the film: Tom and Henry. (Whom, truth be told, I had some difficulties keeping straight in the movie.)
Fanny's hair flowed in the breeze every time she ran around the house like a geeky girl channeling her inner Forest Gump. When she wasn't running, she was subtly flirting up a storm with every man in sight, including, at times, her own brother. Sure, Miss Crawford was throwing herself at Edmund with shameless abandon, but Fanny was FOR SURE giving Henry some reason to believe he might be able to bag her, don't you think? It was subtle, but it was there, and I didn't like it.
Edmund was too dorky for words. This was not proper casting for an Austen leading man if you ask me. It wasn't just the fact that he dug Miss Crawford straightaway...obviously that's the plot and we're supposed to love him once he sees the error of his ways....but I didn't. Even the romantic denouement bored me. Maybe Joseph Morgan (who played Fanny's brother William) would have been a better Edmund?
Oh, and that spinster aunt, Mrs. Norris, had crazy eyes that distracted me.
And thus, not really liking the hero OR heroine of this version very much, I have to say my preference is still for the 1999 feature film version starring Frances O'Connor, Johnny Lee Miller, James Purefoy and Linsday Duncan , who, as Lady Bertram, made the "she shall have a pug!" line so much more priceless.
That said, I'm very eager to see this Sunday's Miss Austen Regrets (and compare it to Becoming Jane). And thank god we've got the definitive P&P still to come.. Nobody does it better than Colin.