6.2/10
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148 user 117 critic

Vanity Fair (2004)

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Angelica Mandy ...
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Ms. Green (as Lillette Dubey)
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John Franklyn-Robbins ...
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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 pluck, 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. No aristocrat she, nor bourgeois, just spirited, intelligent, and irrepressible. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All's fair in love & war. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

1 September 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vanidad  »

Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,268,925 (USA) (3 September 2004)

Gross:

$16,123,851 (USA) (5 November 2004)
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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in 55 days See more »

Goofs

The Duchess of Richmond's famous ball was held on the 15th of June, not the 17th as presented in the movie. (It is correct in the book.) See more »

Quotes

Amelia Sedley: [to Becky] If you have stolen my last night with him I will never forgive you!
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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

Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal
Lyrics by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Music by Mychael Danna
Produced by Mychael Danna
Performed by Custer LaRue
Custer LaRue appears courtesy of The Dorian Group, Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Vanity Fair without the Vanita, Vanitatas
8 March 2005 | by (United States) – See 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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