Freely adapted from a novel by Jane Austen, this period drama is set in the early 1800s, as a girl named Fanny (Hannah Taylor Gordon) is being raised by loving but desperately poor parents. Wanting a better life for Fanny, they send her away to live with her aunts, high-minded Mrs. Norris (Sheila Gish) and drug-addicted Lady Bertram (Lindsay Duncan), who share an estate called Mansfield Park. Fanny joins the family at Mansfield Park, which includes Lady Bertram's husband Sir Thomas (Harold Pinter), who made his money in slaves and West Indian plantations; Sir Thomas's son Tom (James Purefoy), an alcoholic; Tom's intelligent younger brother Edmund (Jonny Lee Miller); and his two sisters, Julia (Justine Waddell) and Maria (Victoria Hamilton). Fanny soon makes friends with Edmund, though she's shown little respect by the rest of the family. In time, Fanny grows to adulthood (now played by Frances O'Connor) and gains skill and poise as a horsewoman while developing her skills as an author. When the stylish but secretive siblings Henry and Mary Crawford (Alassandro Nivola and Embeth Davidtz) arrive at Mansfield Park, romantic sparks begin to fly; the two sisters fight over Henry, while Mary is soon engaged to wed Edmund -- to the disappointment of Fanny, who has fallen in love with him.