Vanity Fair

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Mira Nair
Production: Focus Features
  2 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
141 min

She walks in beauty

Like the night

Of cloudless climes

And starry skies

And all that's best

Of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect

And her eyes

Thus mellow'd to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day


She walks in beauty

Like the night

Of cloudless climes

And starry skies

She walks in beauty

Like the night

Of cloudless climes

And starry skies

- Look after your carriage, mister.

- Oh, please, sir! Please!

Is this your daughter, madame?

I will take her, half cash down

and half in consuls.

Surely, Mama, you cannot sell me

to the highest bidder, though he is a lord.

Why ever not, child?

We cannot flout the rules

of good society.

Mind your backs. Excuse us.

You can catch a lord

with 30,000...

Is this an inconvenient moment?

I've returned for another look, Mr. Sharp,

but I can always come back another time.

No need, my lord.

There it is.

Virtue Betrayed.


Look as long as you want.

- And the price?

- Four guineas, my lord. Just as I said.

They're all four guineas.

Not that one!

That one is 10!

Virtue Betrayed is 10 guineas.

- Oh, but that is too much, little miss.

- Good.

The model was my late wife.

The child doesn't want to part with it.

And if I give you 10 guineas

for this picture of your mother,

will you be happy then

to see it go?


But it will be too much to refuse.

Hmph. Very well then.

Ten guineas it shall be.


I'm very much obliged, sir.

- Good day to you, Mr. Sharp.

- Good day, my lord.

The orphanage can take her,

but I thought you might find her useful.

With both parents dead,

there's no one to fuss.

You can...

do what you like with the child.


How fluent is her French?

Oh, very.

Her mother was Parisian.

An opera girl.

I see.

Well, the less said

about that the better.

Good-bye, Miss Sedley.

You are a credit to us.

Take this copy of the great

Dr. Johnson's dictionary

as a token of our good wishes.

Thank you,

Miss Pinkerton.

You've tidied the library?

Yes, Miss Green.

And the sheet music?

It's all put away?

Yes, it is,

Miss Green.

Well, what about the study hall?

Have you swept it


I have and for the last time.

Don't be too sure, Miss Sharp.

Life can be very unpredictable.

Oh, I do hope so,

Miss Green.

Miss Sharp,

I can't pretend to understand...

why you prefer the post

of a country governess

to your position here.

- Can you not, Miss Pinkerton?

- And you feel quite ready to leave us?

I'm glad to hear it.

Then good day to you,

Miss Sharp.

Good day.

Oh, Miss Pinkerton?

Am I not to have

myJohnson's dictionary?

Very well.

Here you are.

Treat it as a symbol of the education

we have given you.

I certainly will,

Miss Pinkerton.


Silly old trout.

She doesn't know a word of French,

though she's too proud to admit it.

Vive la France.!

Vive Napoleon!

Becky, how can you be

so wicked and vengeful?

And why not?

In all the years I spent there,

I only ever knew

kind words from you.

Revenge may be wicked,

but it's perfectly natural.

Perhaps it is.

But you're wrong to make me say so.

Never mind that.

Let's talk ofhow I'm to spend

my precious week of freedom.

My first priority

is to form an opinion

of Captain Osborne.

I take that duty

very seriously, you know.

It will not tax you.

George is quite perfect.

- And so he should be. And your parents?

- Get on there.!

I must confess

I'm a little nervous of them.

Just be yourself

and everyone will love you.

I do.

- Tell me more about your brother.

- Jos?

There's nothing to add

to what you already know.

He's home on leave from India.

The position is a fine one.

It has made him rich.

But I'm afraid his life is a lonely one.

If only he were married.

Come on! Get up!

And what children exactly...

are to have the benefit of

your instruction, Miss Sharp?

The daughters of Sir Pitt Crawley

of Queen's Crawley, ma'am.

He's among the first

gentlemen of Hampshire.

Or so I was told

when I applied for the position.


He is not so prominent that

we have ever heard of him.

Do you know the county at all?


But that does not frighten me.

I love to visit new places.

- Really?

- Oh, indeed!

How I envy men who can explore for

themselves all the wonders of the world.

And, uh, should you like

to visit India, do you think?


I cannot think of anywhere

I'd rather see.

The palaces of Delhi,

the Taj Mahal,

the Burning Ghats...

Have you made a study

of India, Miss Sharp?

Not so much

as I would like.

I'm enraptured with every scent

and flavor of the East.

Oh, gad, if you think so.

Biju, fetch a plate.

Becky, be careful.!

Those curries can burn.!

So, Miss Sharp, how do you

find your first taste of India?


Over the mountains

And over the waves

Under the fountains

And under the graves

Under floods

that are deepest

Which Neptune obey

Over rocks that are steepest

Love will find out

The way

My word, Miss Sharp.

You've the voice of an angel

in heaven.



You must have some lessons,

my dear.

Captain Dobbin!

Is George not here?


Where is my dear godson?

Pray don't concern yourselves.

George sends his regrets.

- Work holds him prisoner.

- But he is coming to the picnic

at Vauxhall tomorrow?

- Do please say that he is.

- Oh, he wouldn't miss it for worlds.

Come to bed, now.

You must be finished

with all those boring

old numbers.

If only I could be.

I wish Jos wasn't

taking her to this silly

Vauxhall picnic.

He'll drink too much,

and who knows what he'll say

if the little minx works on him.

LetJos marry whom he likes.

She has no fortune,

but nor had you.

Better her than a black

Mrs. Sedley from Boggley Wollah...

and her dozen

mahogany grandchildren.

Now, now, now.


your Amelia awaits.

Ho-hum, Dobbs.

Unflagging devotion is all very well,

but it does rather take out the challenge.

So tell me, what is

the hanger-on governess like?


Miss Sharp.

Thank you.

Step carefully now.

And here he is. It's George.

My dear Amelia.

I can't tell you how much Becky

has been longing to meet you.

I want to be quite sure you're

good enough for dear Amelia.

And who's to decide? You?

Oh, but, Becky only meant...

Come, Miss Becky.

May I show you the pavilion

and all the delights I've prepared for us?

You may show me anything

you choose, Mr. Sedley.

She was only joking.

I don't care for governesses

to joke at my expense.

Miss Sharp! Miss Sharp!

I thought I was to help unravel your silks,

not to be sold into slavery.

Nonsense, Mr. Sedley.

Stay still, I beg you,

or I shall never have

them untangled.

I surrender.

I am your prisoner.

You have only to ask

and I shall release you.


why would I ever want that?


I hopeJos isn't

getting in too deep.

Becky is my friend,

dearest George.

And I would welcome her

as a sister, as I hope you would.

Biju, we're ready.


Dearest Miss Sharp,

I give him to you.


Your beautiful bird?

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Matthew Faulk

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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