As a film, Vanity Fair has a lot going for it -- including acting and energy. full review
It's lavish but lulling, and at two hours and 18 minutes, it's something of a bore. full review
A less than absorbing adaptation of Thackeray's sprawling but sharp-witted classic. full review
Scene by scene and moment to moment, it's a woeful misreading of the book. full review
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. full review
There is no depth beneath its bright surfaces, no potent emotional undercurrents. full review
A charming movie that falls short of greatness, but is still worth a solid recommendation. full review
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. full review
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. full review
We're left with an increasingly weak-willed protagonist and a narrative with no driving force -- no motor. full review
[Nair] clearly loves these characters, the kind and unkind alike. And the proof of this is that she makes them all so marvelously vivid. full review
By film's end, audiences are bound to be left dissatisfied with the choppy and confusing storytelling style and unhappy about the missed opportunity. full review
Lively and mostly successful treatment -- at least until the barbs are blunted in the messy third act. full review
The satire is sharply observed and the performances acutely felt, most of all Witherspoon's.
A lot of things happen, all of it fairly absorbing, some of it rendered vividly. full review
Few other young actresses can jut out their jaw in ambitious determination as charmingly as Witherspoon -- and remain sympathetic. full review
It's one thing to understand Becky -- do we have to love her, too?
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.
Witherspoon's simply terrific, and it's amazing how quickly and easily she sheds speculation that she was too modern for the role. full review