Watch Vanity Fair
- 2 hr 15 min
Vanity Fair is a sumptuous historical drama based on the classic novel by William Makepeace Thackeray. It tells the story of Becky Sharp, a young woman from a humble background who is determined to climb the social ladder and gain wealth and status in 19th century England. Reese Witherspoon delivers a captivating performance as Becky, bringing her wit, charm, and cunning to life in every scene.
The film opens with Becky as a young girl at a boarding school, where she learns the skills of manipulation and deception that she will use throughout her life. She befriends Amelia Sedley (played by Romola Garai), the daughter of a wealthy merchant, and begins to plot her way into high society. Along the way, she encounters a number of colorful characters, including the dashing soldier George Osborne (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and the rich and powerful Marquess of Steyne (Gabriel Byrne).
As the story unfolds, we see Becky maneuvering her way through various social situations, always seeking to advance her own interests. She becomes a governess for the Crawley family, using her position to ingratiate herself with the young and handsome Rawdon Crawley (James Purefoy). When Rawdon is disinherited by his family for marrying someone beneath his station, Becky encourages him to gamble his way back to wealth and prestige.
The film is filled with lavish period costumes and sets, transporting the audience back to a bygone era of elegance and excess. Director Mira Nair does an excellent job of bringing Thackeray's novel to life, balancing the humor and satire with the drama and tragedy of Becky's story. The supporting cast is also superb, with strong performances from Rhys Meyers, Garai, and Byrne in particular.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Vanity Fair is its treatment of class and social mobility. Becky is a woman ahead of her time, unwilling to accept the limitations placed upon her by her gender and her lower social status. She uses every tool at her disposal, from her wit and charm to her sexuality and manipulation, to climb the ladder of success. Yet even as she achieves wealth and status, she remains an outsider, always aware of the prejudices and snobbery of those around her. The film explores these themes with nuance and complexity, challenging the viewer to consider what it takes to succeed in a society that is not always fair.
Overall, Vanity Fair is a compelling and beautifully crafted film that is sure to delight fans of historical drama. With its strong performances, lush visuals, and sharp writing, it offers a fresh and engaging take on a classic story. Whether you're a fan of Thackeray's novel or simply appreciate well-crafted period dramas, this film is definitely worth a watch.
Vanity Fair is a 2004 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 15 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 53.