Vanity Fair

Director: Mira Nair

Mira Nair’s sumptuous period film, based on William Makepeace Thakeray’s classic novel about London society schemer Becky Sharp suffers from its own ambitious nature as the film passes the second hour mark. However, the movie is so vibrantly sensual and deliciously photographed that the audience remains rapturous even as our minds begin to stray from the plot itself. Although the film spans decades, the main character-- played to perfection by Reese Witherspoon (for once, convincing as a period film Brit although every once in awhile she falls into her trademark southern twang)-- appears never to age. Pay special attention to the delightful supporting cast including Jonathan Rhys Myers once again playing the beautiful, slightly androgynous snob (he’s typecast!) and a wondrous turn by relative newcomer Romola Garai who, as she did in I Capture The Castle, manages to capture our hearts with her subtle turn as Becky’s friend and confidant. Garai’s character is far more likable and possibly the reason why Becky’s self-centered social climber is hard to follow for nearly two and a half hours.