Vanity Fair Reviews
Against such bedraggled antagonists, the older, well-seasoned character actors -- among them Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, and Geraldine McEwan -- come on bright but loud, like gangbusters.
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.
The peculiar quality of Vanity Fair, which sets it aside from the Austen adaptations such as Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, is that it's not about very nice people. That makes them much more interesting.
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.
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.