Girl with a Pearl Earring

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Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Peter Webber
Released:
2004
Rating:
PG-13
Girl with a Pearl Earring is a 2003 film directed by Peter Webber. The story is based in the 1660's and follows a Dutch girl named Griet (Scarlett Johansen). After her father becomes blind, Griet is forced to seek work as a maid in the depressing household of painter Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth). Griet works with silent dedication but eventually grows closer to Johannes as the two find that they share an interest in painting. She eventually becomes his assistant and the two begin work on Johannes' most famous painting. However, Griet must still endure mistreatment and disrespect from the rest of the family, including Johannes wife. Jealousy flares as Johannes' wife discovers that the painting features Griet. The movie gets its name from the painting by Johannes Vermeer which is also entitled Girl with a Pearl Earring. The film mimics the painting as seen in the bright color schemes and in the quiet contemplative nature of the story.

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    An intelligent, visually ravishing adaptation of Tracy Chevalier's best-selling novel.

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Even if Girl With a Pearl Earring is not nearly as remarkable dramatically as it is visually, it is, finally, a film of great beauty, and that is something worth appreciating.

  • 60

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    An auspicious feature-directing debut by Mr. Webber in so many ways -- a groaning board of temptations for the eye and ear -- that you may almost forgive the film its lack of drama...

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    Drama

    Themes

    Biography, Historical, based on a book, forbidden love, historical people as characters