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151 user 113 critic

Vanity Fair (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama | 1 September 2004 (USA)
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Growing up poor in London, Becky Sharp defies her poverty-stricken background and ascends the social ladder alongside her best friend, Amelia.

Director:

Mira Nair

Writers:

Matthew Faulk (screenplay), Mark Skeet (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,067 ( 101)
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriel Byrne ... The Marquess of Steyne
Angelica Mandy Angelica Mandy ... Young Becky
Roger Lloyd Pack ... Francis Sharp
Ruth Sheen ... Miss Pinkerton
Kate Fleetwood ... Miss Pinkerton's Crone
Reese Witherspoon ... Becky Sharp
Lillete Dubey ... Ms. Green (as Lillette Dubey)
Romola Garai ... Amelia Sedley
Tony Maudsley ... Joseph Sedley
Deborah Findlay ... Mrs. Sedley
John Franklyn-Robbins John Franklyn-Robbins ... Mr. Sedley
Paul Bazely ... Biju
Rhys Ifans ... William Dobbin
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... George Osborne
Charlie Beall ... Gambler
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Storyline

The British Empire flowers; exotic India colors English imaginations. Becky Sharp, the orphaned daughter of a painter and a singer, leaves a home for girls to be a governess, armed with a keen wit, good looks, fluent French, and an eye for social advancement. Society tries its best to keep her from climbing. An episodic narrative follows her for 20 years, through marriage, Napoleonic wars, a child, loyalty to a school friend, the vicissitudes of the family whose daughters she instructed, and attention from a bored marquess who collected her father's paintings. Honesty tempers her schemes. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a time of social climbers, Becky Sharp is a mountaineer. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sensuality/partial nudity and a brief violent image | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | India

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

1 September 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vanidad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,268,925, 5 September 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$16,136,476

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,111,020
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Natasha Little, who plays Lady Jane Sheepshanks, played Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair (1998). See more »

Goofs

The song to which Becky dances in front of the King is an Egyptian song (Hakim - Salamo Aleikoum) that came out in 2010, so much later than the time where the story is supposed to take place. See more »

Quotes

Becky Sharp: Are you trying to steer me towards an indiscretion?
Rawdon Crawley: Would you like me to?
Becky Sharp: No man has managed it yet.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the credits start rolling the word "Alvida" (goodbye) appears in Urdu script. Beneath it is the following dedication: for our beloved Ammy Kulsum Alibhai 1927-2003 See more »

Connections

Featured in 2011 MTV Movie Awards (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

She Walks in Beauty
Lyrics by Lord Byron (as Lord George Gordon Byron)
Music by Mychael Danna
Produced by Mychael Danna
Performed by Sissel (as Sissel)
Sissel appears courtesy of Universal Music, AS Norway and Stageway Talent, AS
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Vanity Fair without the Vanita, Vanitatas
8 March 2005 | by wassailwoSee all my reviews

I was very disappointed with this adaptation of Thackeray's masterpiece. When this movie first came out I was very excited to see it and read the book in preparation. Now I wish I had just left it at the novel. 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.' All of Becky's backstabbing guiles have been down-graded to a form of pluckiness that completely fails to hit any mark of truth or irony... the two pillars of the original work. 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. It also upsets me that several of the most entertaining scenes in the novel were altered or completely left out for the sake of forcing us to endure Reese Witherspoon's mediocre lip syncing in at least three separate musical numbers. Sure, in the novel, Becky could sing... but she was also a heartless sociopath who would do anything to get ahead. Out of the two personality traits, I believe Thackeray would rather us know the latter instead of the former. 'Vanity Fair,' the novel, is a sharp and often hilarious social commentary. 'Vanity Fair,' the 2004 movie, is a dull and often intellectually insulting piece of weepie dreck. Trust me, folks, spend your money on the book, or at least check out the far superior BBC version, which is twice as long but never quite as plodding as this mock-up of an adaptation.


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