Mira Nair to direct the film version of "Vanity Fair"

Mira Nair, the India-born director of brilliantly colorful, Eastern-flavored dramas such as "Monsoon Wedding" and "Salaam Bombay," might seem an unlikely choice to direct the film version of William Thackeray's novel of early 19th-century England, "Vanity Fair" (opening Wednesday at several area theaters). That is, if you haven't read the book.

As Nair attests, the perfume of India permeates the novel. "You can miss it, if you wish," said the director, on a visit to Seattle last week. "People who don't know the novel may think, 'Oh, here's an Indian director, she's imposed her India on it,' but it's the politics, the aesthetics — it was all given to me (in the novel).", reports Seattle Times.

"Mostly because she was like us. She was somebody who didn’t care for the cards that society had dealt her and she made her own deck," Nair, 46, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "She basically carved her way in a time when it was much harder to carve your way as a young woman from the other side of the tracks.

Motherless, orphaned and born on the outside into a completely class-straitjacketed society."

Though a decent person at heart, Witherspoon’s Becky is a manipulator, using her charm, beauty and musical talents to win over the snooty British upper class and land herself a well-to-do mate.

The film’s cast includes Gabriel Byrne, Eileen Atkins, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent and Romola Garai.

"Vanity Fair" was a book Nair dipped into every few years since first reading it, so it was a nice bit of serendipity that Focus Features approached her about directing its production of Thackeray’s masterpiece, informs MSN News.

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