In 1930s England, a struggling writer (Stephen Campbell Moore) makes ends meet by writing a newspaper gossip column about his upper-crust friends. Writer-director Stephen Fry adapts Evelyn Waugh’s novel Vile Bodies
into a hilariously mordant comedy of (mostly bad) manners among decadent aristocratic twits. When the comedy turns serious—as the characters’ lives wear thin even to themselves—Fry finesses the change in tone without putting a foot wrong, and with a generous indulgence toward the characters: they may be silly and shallow, but there’s hardly a mean bone in their beautiful bodies. As the hero’s flighty fiancée, Emily Mortimer is wistful and disarming, and the terrific supporting cast includes Dan Aykroyd, Jim Broadbent, Peter O#&146;Toole, Fenella Woolgar and 96-year-old Sir John Mills.