Vanity Fair (2004, GBR/USA) C-141m. SCOPE ** D: Mira Nair. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Gabriel Byrne, Rhys Ifans, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Bob Hoskins, Eileen Atkins, James Purefoy, Jim Broadbent, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Romola Garai. Tenth adaptation of William Thackeray's 1847 novel about Witherspoon, who comes from a poor family and tries to find her position in pre-Victorian England. Intrigues, affairs, fulfilled and unfulfilled dreams are spotlighted. Lacking any dramatic punch whatsoever, film lives off fine production values and some good performances. Well-photographed by Declan Quinn.

© Ron Altman