Austen purists may gag, but director Patricia Rozema has managed to crack Mansfield Park
, transforming Jane Austen's problematic novel into an engaging bit of entertainment. Ten-year-old Fanny Price (Hannah Taylor Gordon) is taken from her family's squalid
Portsmouth home and brought to live at Mansfield Park, the sprawling country estate of her wealthy uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Bertram (Harold Pinter, Lindsay Duncan). Fanny is raised as the proverbial poor step-child, overshadowed by her privileged cousins: eldest Tom (James Purefoy), who's
heir to his father's property, including a sugar plantation in Antigua; sensitive younger brother Edmond (Jonny Le...