Reese Witherspoon, Gabriel Byrne, Rys
Ifans, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent and so on...
Directed by: Mira Nair
speaking? Vanity Fair is a big-n-bulgy gorgeous bore.
Visually the film's as beautiful and intricate as a Fabergé
egg. But one doesn't need to spend two hours starring at a jeweled
its 1810-ish, and Rebecca Sharp, aka Becky (Reese Witherspoon),
is a "common girl" with aspirations of climbing the
ever present societal ladder in a snotty England which frowns
upon breeding with the "help." She's the help - a lowly
mother died long ago
and her father, now dead as well, had
been a somewhat starving artist whose paintings were desired by
a dark-styled Marquis (Gabriel Byrne). This will come into play
later on in her saga
watch as Becky delicately claws her way up to the bigger house
and finer things, while meeting all sorts of richer cads along
the way. She's a resilient sort that wields her hopes of wealth
and stature openly - with pinkies up and head perched.
Becky grows into a woman and mother she nearly achieves the impossible
before she discovers, perhaps happiness, not gold, is what makes
you the wealthiest of all
we watch her lives twists and turns
within a beautiful setting that you can almost smell it's so real.
little Becky is no bitchy time-faring villain or Jane Eyre sort.
Heck, she's not really even a bad girl. So you never wish her
ill or revenge. And Bec's not a squarely good girl so you never
wish her buckets of success. She just kind of is. And that's what
keeps this lark from being grand. No oomph.
story is riddled with dysfunctional Dickens-esque characters lurking,
plotting, conniving, lusting, secretly admiring and being gullible
waifs-in-waiting. Though, sadly, none are particularly menacing
or "evil" and when the dollops of beautiful musical
notes by Mychael Danna asks us to follow the drama bits in shock
and awe we defiantly insist on upon waiting for a tad more before
we agree to such nonsense.
Vanity Fair's is the human's old (and told and told) saga of the
rich looking down upon the help as ne'r do wells and unworthy
mating partners. Your sure to recognize the personalities the
story carries to you; beneath their fancy clothes and facades
of yesteryear people still snub people based on wallet and birth
lets face it.
Vanity Fair is not a bad story and its tale (originally a "scandalous
novel by William Thakeray) is reminiscent of PBS' Moll Flanders
but with a stronger, "star' sprinkled, cast dancing about
its winded soap Operatic tale as directed by Mira Naira and impeccably
designed by Maria Djurkovic and costumed by Beatrice Aruna Pastzur.
Snack recommendation: Fish and chips with Pappadums.