An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure & humble origins to her subsequent ignominious fall from Society; set amongst the ...
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An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure & humble origins to her subsequent ignominious fall from Society; set amongst the backdrop of Regency England & in continental Europe during the Napoleonic War. Written by
A six hour miniseries by the BBC and A&E, "Vanity Fair" (1998) has sufficient time to present the classic tale of the socially adroit, cunning, and beguiling Becky Sharp's rise from lowly governess to lofty aristocrat with depth, detail, and attention to the many characters and side stories swirling around her. Given it's British pedigree, the film recreates the period with fidelity from beautiful country vistas to dank squalor; from stately manors to Gothic mansions; from handsome gentlemen to grotesque lechers; from elegant gowns to threadbare cloaks; etc. Natasha Little makes a superb centerpiece though her fellow actors are equally well cast and competent in their roles. The downside to the series is a somewhat uneven screenplay which spends time while women sing parlor songs only to rush through some of the moments in which we would most like to linger. The musical score is annoyingly heavy handed, poorly nuanced, and often too much like a poor Salvation Army brass street ensemble. "Vanity Fair" (1998) should be time well spent for anyone into Victorian period fare, especially comedy/dramas, the works of W.M. Thackeray, or fans of the players. Subtitling is excellent. (B+)
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