Vanity Fair


Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 41
  2. Negative: 3 out of 41

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    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. That makes them much more interesting.
  2. Witherspoon's simply terrific, and it's amazing how quickly and easily she sheds speculation that she was too modern for the role.
  3. A triumph for its director and its star.
  4. Graced with Nair's loving direction, Witherspoon's radiance and that great cast, it is a treat, if somewhat less so than the novel.
  5. Nair and screenwriters Matthew Faulk, Mark Skeet and Julian Fellowes have faithfully carried most of the main characters over from the novel but have changed its point of view.
  6. Yet something's missing in director Mira Nair's treatment -- specifically, a point of view about the material, a compelling reason for this historical excavation beyond the fact that Reese Witherspoon makes a convincing Becky Sharp.
  7. 75
    Despite its flaws, the movie is compulsively watchable, and few will be bored by it. It's a charming movie that falls short of greatness, but is still worth a solid recommendation.
  8. Nair, against all odds, has injected new life into this oft-filmed tale, handily re-creating the grimy look of early 19th-century London streets.
  9. The spirit of that most modern of 19th century heroines, Becky Sharp, remains intact, and Nair's Indian touches make for an intriguing, fresh approach.
  10. 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 from Nair's philosophically Eastern point of view.
  11. While the film bubbles with humor, sensual detail and heaps of plot, it never quite becomes more than the sum of its parts. It's well worth seeing, but it isn't transcendent.
  12. 70
    Smart, saucy, and ingenious in the extreme. The trouble is that when a subtext is dragged to the fore, however splendidly, the poor old text gets lost.
  13. It borders on perky -- a duller, safer tonal choice for the story of a conniving go-getter whose fall is as precipitous as her rise.
  14. The movie crams in so many of the events and characters of Thack­eray's 900-page novel that the story often seems to be moving on fast-forward, pausing here and there to introduce a character, then skipping ahead — from London to the country to Brussels and on, eventually, to India.
  15. 63
    Nair makes Vanity Fair an elegant showcase for an unforgettable heroine.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. IlzeS.
    Jan 8, 2006
    Movie was good, I liked everyone in this movie. I think, it
  2. GregB.
    Nov 8, 2005
    An extravagant and very well acted retelling of Thackeray's masterpiece of EnglIsh manners and mores at the beginning of the 19th century.