Vanity Fair Reviews

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March 13, 2018
This Vanity Fair delights the eye, but Nair may be too much the humanist for her own good: she hasn't the instinct for the kill.
Top Critic
September 10, 2004
It's lavish but lulling, and at two hours and 18 minutes, it's something of a bore.
September 10, 2004
A less than absorbing adaptation of Thackeray's sprawling but sharp-witted classic.
September 4, 2004
Scene by scene and moment to moment, it's a woeful misreading of the book.
September 3, 2004
Witherspoon moves director Mira Nair's version of Thackeray's social satire forward at a good clip, making Becky's rising and falling fortunes an intensely watchable spectator sport.
September 3, 2004
There is no depth beneath its bright surfaces, no potent emotional undercurrents.
September 3, 2004
A charming movie that falls short of greatness, but is still worth a solid recommendation.
September 2, 2004
Even with a running time of more than 2 hours, this kind of condensation means we race through the story's second half in a time warp not aided by Nair's garish, out-of-nowhere and out-of-place Indian interludes.
September 2, 2004
Though it's an accomplished production, Vanity Fair ranks as a standard costume drama populated by snide old biddies, aging lords and ladies, manipulative business barons and dashing soldiers.
September 2, 2004
We're left with an increasingly weak-willed protagonist and a narrative with no driving force -- no motor.
September 2, 2004
Nair's turgid, melodramatic travesty of Thackeray's gimlet-eyed satire.
September 1, 2004
Witherspoon's simply terrific, and it's amazing how quickly and easily she sheds speculation that she was too modern for the role.
September 1, 2004
By film's end, audiences are bound to be left dissatisfied with the choppy and confusing storytelling style and unhappy about the missed opportunity.
September 1, 2004
Lively and mostly successful treatment -- at least until the barbs are blunted in the messy third act.
September 1, 2004
A pared-down but wonderfully cluttered rendition of Thackeray's work, beautifully acted by a dream troupe of performers.
September 1, 2004
The satire is sharply observed and the performances acutely felt, most of all Witherspoon's.
September 1, 2004
A lot of things happen, all of it fairly absorbing, some of it rendered vividly.
September 1, 2004
It's one thing to understand Becky -- do we have to love her, too?
September 1, 2004
The movie has the look and feel of an ornate runaway carriage that cuts its own path through town and country. With Nair at the reins and Witherspoon as the passenger, we are in good hands and spirited company.
September 1, 2004
[Nair] clearly loves these characters, the kind and unkind alike. And the proof of this is that she makes them all so marvelously vivid.
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