Steyn pays off their debts. But the end result of her vision is on the whole, rather disappointing. Given that the whole crew was even dragged to Jodhpur, India, to shoot a few minutes worth of footage, it is however hard to understand why the Brussels episode was shot in the courtyards of Hampton Court Palace, which constitute an unconvincing decor to anyone who knows what Belgian cities look like. I've always meant to read Vanity Fair, so when I saw the poster advertising the film, I decided to go ahead and read it, before watching the film. There in fact was a 1935 movie, "Becky Sharp" which is based on the same book. (Focus Features). Parents need to know that this adaptation of the classic Thackeray story Vanity Fair has a small amount of battlefield violence, including a field lined with dead bodies. The English class system is paramount to the plot of the story, and characters make bigoted remarks both about the "lower classes" and about people of color. The film was colourful and vibrant, and so what if Becky wasn't portrayed exactly as she was in the novel? If you hadn't gathered it from the movie itself, the bonus documentaries on the DVD will make it clear that this edition of Vanity Fair has at its root a fatal flaw. Roger Ebert: The Ultimate Film Enthusiast. None of the reviews I have read thus far would seem to have commented on the music & dance sequence towards the latter part of the film. It saddens me to know that a generation of young people will watch this film and assume that Nair's vision of the story is a correct one. Of course, Thackeray's story needs no modernization at all - it is as recognizable today as it was 200 years ago. Returning after the battle of Waterloo, their marriage is rocky due to his gambling debts and her never-ending quest to raise her social status. Not at all; romantic love is a modern and untrustworthy motive for marriage, and in England and India (where both Thackeray and Mira Nair were born), marriage strategies have always involved family connections and financial possibilities. Steyne fancies a portrait of Becky's mother; her father prices it at 3 guineas, but Becky insists on 10, putting on a good show of sentimental attachment to her departed parent. So Becky goes to Crawley Hall, where she mistakes the unshaven Sir Pitt for a servant. He agrees, probably not because he thinks it's worth it, but because he admires the fire and spirit in the young girl. It's a long, rocky journey, almost too long for a 137-minute movie to bear as it turns out. Mira Nair's vision of Becky Sharp and the hypocrisy of Regency Britain is so far off the mark, she should be ashamed of herself for even using the title 'Vanity Fair.' | Vanity Fair is a beautiful mess.

On average, Joe-Q public consisted on this day of mostly teenage girls anywhere from 13-16 years of age. It stares the very talented Reese Witherspoon who adopts a perfect English accent, and can boost about learning belly dancing and other such dances for the film. Watchable all the same.

The dazzling Indian finale, shamelessly over the top, that we get by way of obligatory happy ending, would have us believe that Becky has gone off with him on a life of happy traveling, casting infatuated glances in his direction. In the explicit attempt, voiced by Mira Nair herself, to bring the story to the screen as one relevant to modern audiences, rather than being just the next period piece, the exact opposite is achieved. I was more or less correct. Most attempts failed miserably, lacking the magic of today's movies and failing to grasp the themes of the novel. I saw the movie only a week after finishing the book, with the details fresh in my mind, to be immensely displeased. Awards Unless a viewer has a phenomenal memory, such a story on film invariably leads to confusion and to my asking myself, "now wait a minute, whose brother is this, and whose son? Believe it or not, I am under the age of 20 and have read this novel purely out of interest and found it to be an amazing piece of work. Check box if your review contains spoilers, Mira Nair's film version of the classic novel by William Makepeace Thackery introduces a new audience to the beautiful, funny, passionate and calculating heroine Becky Sharp (Witherspoon). Sure, in the novel, Becky could sing... but she was also a heartless sociopath who would do anything to get ahead. The peculiar quality of Vanity Fair, which sets it aside from the Austen adaptations such as "Sense and Sensibility" and "Pride and Prejudice," is that it's not about very nice people. Thackeray purists beware! It is a feast for the eyes though, as it appears Nair is intent on bringing her native India into the film as much as possible from the brightly colored period costumes to the contemporary-looking exotic dance at the Marquess of Steyne's party (with very anachronistic Rai music in the background) to the happy ending atop an elephant in Jodhpur. But I don't think it impossible to make a good movie that differs from the book.

But she didn't, so don't waste your seven dollars to see it in the theater. Is the Indian-born Mira Nair a strange choice to adapt what some think is the best English novel of the 19th century?

What a strange experience it must have been for Natasha Little to play Jane Sheepshanks, the most goodly character in the story, and witness the insipid Becky of Reese Witherspoon, after having herself starred as the perfect embodiment of Miss Sharp in the BBC dramatization of the novel. User Ratings If you want the next best thing to reading the book, the extra cost of that DVD is more than worth it. It combines the beauty of elegant costumes, sets and people with the disaster that is Mira Nair's adaptation of William Makepeace Thackery's novel. He'll come into play later.

With humble beginnings as a poor child with a starving artist as her father, Becky (Reese Witherspoon) was determined to overcome her circumstance.
I am appauld at the reaction to this beautiful film. This results in some awkward scenes of Witherspoon dancing in oriental regalia. Wait for the video, or better yet, wait for that one Friday night when you are home alone and it comes on cable. At times it is almost as if you can hear the actors gasping for breath while hurrying along to get everything crammed in in the allotted time (two hours is already longer than most movie audiences can stand nowadays if the film isn't peppered with a proper barrage of CG special effects). We meet her first when she is a young girl, and we see that she is already stubborn and manipulative, when she demands ten guineas for a portrait of her mother that is being sold to a wealthy aristocrat (Gabriel Byrne) for four. Movie Info Born to poor parents, Becky Sharp (Reese Witherspoon) has always aspired to be a member of England's upper classes. The peculiar quality of "Vanity Fair," which sets it aside from the Austen adaptations such as "Sense and Sensibility" and " Pride and Prejudice," is that it's not about … Metacritic Reviews, This is an entertaining movie that goes over two hours, but I really don't understand why it was made. 'Vanity Fair,' the 2004 movie, is a dull and often intellectually insulting piece of weepie dreck. All their interest was well gone by the time Gabriel Byrne strutted onto the screen, and although it pains me to admit it, my interest had slowly subsided with theirs. Those with a particular interest in Victorian pulp fiction or more expansive dramas should turn to the BBC's 1998 six hour miniseries which offers greater character depth, a presentation much more true to the period, and a very much better cast.

We meet Becky just as she's leaving finishing school, where the French she learned from her Parisian mother won her a berth as a boarder and tutor. Mira Nair goes overboard in trying to stress the 'India' connection in Thackeray's novel.

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