Vanity Fair

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Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Mira Nair
Released:
2004
Rating:
PG-13

Vanity Fair is a drama based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray. Best friends Rebecca "Becky" Sharp (Reese Witherspoon) and Amelia Sedley (Romola Garai) are preparing to graduate from finishing school. Before beginning employment as a governess, Becky decides to visit with Amelia's family. She attracts the attention of Amelia's brother Jos (Tony Maudsley), but Amelia's fianc'', Captain George Osborne (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), encourages him to stay away from Becky. Although George does not treat Amelia very well, he worries that his father will not approve of his marriage if Becky, who has no money or family, marries Jo. Becky leaves her friend's home and begins her employment as a governess. The next decade brings marriage, children, and social upheaval for both friends, eventually causing their lives to cross paths again. Directed by Mira Nair, Vanity Fair was nominated for a Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival.

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times

    It almost makes you wonder whether Vanity Fair is not the perfect text for a lesson in Buddhist detachment. Certainly, Vanity Fair is a never-ending Western story that benefits fro...

  • 60

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Nair's approach never entirely convinces, and the adaptation of the 900-plus-page book becomes increasingly episodic, making this Vanity Fair more a collection of intermittent plea...

  • 50

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Vanity Fair has a deeper conceptual confusion. In mixing satire and romance, the movie proves once again that the two are about as compatible as lemon juice and heavy cream.

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    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Love & Romance