Vanity Fair

2004 PG-13 2h 21m DVD

Vanity Fair

2004 PG-13 2h 21m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
In this sumptuous film version of William Makepeace Thackeray's famous novel, lower-class vixen Becky Sharp uses her good looks and considerable wit to climb her way up the precipitous social ladder of 1820s London.
Reese Witherspoon, James Purefoy, Romola Garai, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Gabriel Byrne, Jim Broadbent, Bob Hoskins, Rhys Ifans, Robert Pattinson
Mira Nair
Widescreen 2.35:1
Spanish (Neutral), French
French: DTS 5.1 Surround, English: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this adaptation of the classic Thackeray story Vanity Fair has a small amount of battlefield violence, including a field lined with dead bodies. The English class system is paramount to the plot of the story, and characters make bigoted remarks both about the "lower classes" and about people of color. Some characters are killed in battle, while others die suddenly; a child is left orphaned by the death of both of her parents. Expect adultery plus many veiled references to sex, couched in so much old-fashioned language that kids are unlikely to get them. Viewers see a woman's backside in a non-sexual situation. There is some social drinking at parties, and some characters act slightly drunk.

Sexual Content

There are plenty of references to sex, but most of them are so veiled they'll go right over kid's heads. We see a character's nude backside as she stands up quickly from a bath. Adultery is a theme.


Some characters are killed and others die, both offscreen. There is a scuffle and one character falls downstairs, but gets up, seemingly uninjured. A man attempts to force himself on a woman sexually. There are a few scenes set on a battlefield and the viewer sees a field covered with dead bodies.


No cursing, a reference to brothels, and arcane insults like "he has the charm of an undertaker and the humor of a corpse." There is also a racial insult directed at a woman of color.

Social Behavior

British class issues lie at the heart of this story, and its characters seldom question the class system or if those who benefit from it are worthy. Husbands and wives are often unfaithful to each other in this film, though viewers also see the consequences of the adultery.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

At a party guests drink glasses of wine and some characters occasionally act slightly drunk.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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