DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
4K UHD
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Mansfield Park
Mansfield Park
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 16, 2001 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:


Another in the line of Jane Austin adaptations, "Mansfield Park" is a moderately entertaining picture, lacking in some areas, but very successful in others. The film begins with the main character, Frances Price, being given away during her early childhood by her poor mother to live in the rich and elegant household of Mansfield Park.

She grows up in the household, never quite liked and never given respect to by anyone else in the household except for her cousin Edmund(Jonny Lee Miller of "Trainspotting"). A visitor and aristocrat named Henry(Alessandro Nivola of "Face/Off") visits and finds his interests focused on Fanny as well. Once the young woman begins contributing to the discussions between the family members, respect for her begins to rise - but does she really want to become more involved?

As much as I enjoyed moments of "Mansfield Park", the film as a whole just didn't engage me. It moves slowly and although I was never bored, I came close now and then. There's nothing essentially wrong with what the film has in store, but I didn't particularly become engaged in it - there's no spark and not enough energy. I didn't find the characters too involving nor did I think that they had much chemistry together, but I did find many individual performances (such as O'Connor's) to be respectable.

Director Patricia Rozema certainly has done a fine job with the details of the period as well as knowledge of the story (I found her commentary more interesting than the movie), but the film never elevated above average for me, and the pace and energy could have been stronger.


The DVD

VIDEO: Although Disney's effort for "Mansfield Park" is not without minor flaws, the majority of the beautiful looking picture does deliver gorgeous looking images. The outdoor scenes look particularly brilliant, with rich colors and nicely defined images. Sharpness is generally good throughout the entire film; there are some dimly lit indoor scenes that seem a little bit soft, but they generally are not anything less than the level of adequate in terms of sharpness. Detail is good as well, with a few minor exceptions. Colors vary; the indoor scenes are not terribly colorful with the exception of a bright color appearing now and then. The outdoor scenes, on the other hand, display some great looking shots full of deep, rich green fields. Flesh tones are fine as well; a couple of scenes come off as looking slightly dark, but this could be the way they looked in theaters, as well.

There are some minor problems, although they are hardly distracting. These include some very minor marks on the print used every so often and a couple of very slight traces of pixelation. Other than that, there's no shimmering and only a tiny bit of grain in a couple of sequences. A very nice anamorphic transfer from Miramax.

SOUND: "Mansfield Park" is offered in Dolby Digital 5.0, and the sound is really what you would expect from a period piece like this one; not exactly an agressive sounding picture, it still does have its pleasures in terms of sound. Lesley Barber's majestic and lovely score gets center stage frequently, and often energizes the film. The score sounds beautiful and warm, filling the room often. Surrounds mainly come alive with the score, but otherwise remain pretty silent except for the occasional subtle background sound. The film's couple of storms also sound good, with one at about 44 minutes putting the viewer directly in the middle of a fairly intense shower.

MENUS:: Nothing special, simply using basic film images and the cover art as background to the main and sub-menus.

EXTRAS::.

Commentary: This is a commentary from director Patricia Rozema and it's an outstanding commentary, one of the best I've heard all year. The director has a soft, beautiful voice that is a pleasure to listen to, and her comments about both the technical aspects of the production as well as the story and acting is really a marvelous discussion of the highs and lows of the production.

The director takes the viewer through her choices and inspirations for almost every aspect of the film, from her joys at certain casting decisions to choosing the locations to set the tone and detail of the picture. When not talking about the technical aspects, she shares the challenges of adapting Jane Austin's tale for the screen, sharing her thoughts on the differences between the book and the movie, as well as how she viewed best to display the book's locations and structure. She also has a detailed knowledge of the time period and the novel, and this allows her to create a wonderfully in-depth analysis of both Austin's writing and the time period as well.

There are very few pauses during this commentary, and it seems that, on occasion, comments from a seperate interview have been added in to fill in a gap or two but these instances seem very infrequent. I found this to be a very articulate, very passionate discussion that not only was informative about not only the story, but filmmaking in general.

Also: A 6 minute "behind-the-scenes" featurette and the film's theatrical trailer (full-frame, dolby 2.0)


Final Thoughts: "Mansfield Park" is well acted but I didn't find myself interested in the story or characters and the film often seems slow. Still, when it comes to the DVD I am pleased to say that Miramax has come through quite well with all 3 of the important elements of a good DVD; audio and video quality are very pleasing and Rozema's commentary is quite enlightening and informative about the time period and story - unfortunately I found the commentary more interesting than the film itself. The film was quite a popular one for an independent film, so those who did enjoy this movie will be happy to find that this special edition provides a fine presentation. If you liked the film, the DVD is recommended; otherwise, I'd recommend looking at it as a rental first.

Popular Reviews
1. Barry Lyndon
2. Rawhead Rex
3. My Neighbor Totoro (GKIDS Release)
4. The Ghoul
5. The Beguiled
6. Junior Bonner
7. Children Of The Corn
8. Dreamgirls: Director's Extended Edition
9. Ernie Kovacs: Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection
10. Spirited Away


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2017 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use