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UKScreen Rating:

Vanity Fair – Review


Orphan Rebecca (Becky) Sharp (Witherspoon) vows on leaving Miss Pinkerton’s Academy at Chiswick to claw her way to the top in English society.
Getting a job as a governess to the daughters of eccentric Sir Pitt Crawley (Hoskins), Becky wins them over and the family’s rich spinster aunt Matilda (Atkins) decides to take her to London with her.
There, Becky is introduced into high society but secretly marries dashing heir Rawdon Crawley (Purefoy). When Matilda finds out she casts the newlyweds out.
Becky then begins her long climb back into high society by any means possible.


This is a sumptuous and lavish period drama, set in the nineteenth century. It is a visual feast, thanks to director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding).
William Makepeace Thackeray’s 900 page novel has been exquisitely adapted for the big screen.
Reese Witherspoon is magnificent as the manipulative and social climbing Becky Sharp. She looks and sounds like an English rose.
The supporting cast, which reads like a Who’s Who of the British acting world, gives sterling performances. The book’s themes of achieving fame and fortune at any cost are still relevant today.
This is a beautifully shot and beautifully acted film – just a touch on the long side.

VANITY FAIR opens on January 14 2005



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