“It feels as energetic and sparkly as a social climber’s zeal”

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair, ITV

“Does the world need another adaptation of Vanity Fair? On the strength of this start to ITV’s new series, the answer would have to be yes. It feels as energetic and sparkly as a social climber’s zeal.”
Emine Saner, The Guardian

“The sets were lovely, the Regency clothes convincing and the romantic juveniles better looking than nature on average supplies. What more could be wanted for a Sunday night costume classic than Vanity Fair reconstructed by Gwyneth Hughes into an easy-to-follow tale of the orphan Becky Sharp (Olivia Cooke), on the make and angry with the world?”
Christopher Howse, The Telegraph

“Screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes stays faithful to the original but concentrates only on the key scenes. That leaves us space to watch Becky at her scheming, the cogs of her mind whizzing as she calculates who to fool, who to gratify and who to ignore. Cooke has just the face for it, with a mouth that pulls a sour pout when she thinks no one is looking, and eyes that can turn stony if she’s thwarted.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“The production values are lavish. The performances are excellent. And the music by Isobel Waller-Bridge made good use of period songs to bring out the source material’s folk ballad qualities. A few more satiric interventions by Palin/Thackeray would be welcome and it all looks slightly too clean for an era where the gentry bathed every three months, whether they needed to or not. But this is a nicely playful and earthy take on one of the great English novels. Pour yourself a glass of fine claret and enjoy.”
Jeff Robson, The i

“I’m iffy about those knowing looks that Becky Sharp gives to camera in Vanity Fair. Yes, it’s the modern Fleabag/House of Cards/Miranda way, putting the protagonist in cahoots with the viewer, but it feels unnecessary in an already quite mannered and arch costume drama. Yet Olivia Cooke is so luminous and expressive as the manipulative social climber Sharp that it probably doesn’t matter.”
Carol Midgley, The Times