Sumptuous set design, painstaking cinematography and thoughtful, understated performances make ‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’ an aesthetic masterpiece – but dear God is it dull. It’s based on the best-selling novel by Tracy Chevalier but, more significantly than that, the book itself tells the story behind a painting by brush-brandishing Dutchman Johannes Vermeer. And not a very interesting story either, it has to be said. Rent-a-thesp Colin Firth plays Vermeer, who takes a break from the clogs, windmills and whore-patrolled waterways of 17th Century Holland to paint humble housemaid Griet (a perfectly-cast Scarlett Johansson, of Lost In Translation fame). You wouldn’t think there’d be many problems with that – only Vermeer’s missus Catharina (Essie Davis) doesn’t quite see things that way. In short, she thinks the pair of them are at it, and we can rest assured the gouache is going to hit the fan when she finally decides to put her foot down. Not much happens in ‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’. There’s lots of sneaking around, lots of gazing longingly in the direction of nothing in particular, and the unintentionally-comical sight of Cillian (28 Days Later) Murphy going about dressed as what appears to be a little pixie.
What it basically boils down to is that the plot has neither the depth nor the interest to match the production values. It could even be said that the film is much like the painting itself – impressive to look at for a little while, but you wouldn’t want to spend an hour-and-a-half staring at it. Especially when School Of Rock is playing in the roomThe Girl with a Pearl Earring
An In-Depth Study by Jonathan Janson
The Girl with a Pearl Earring is universally recognized as one of Johannes Vermeer's absolute masterworks. After more than a century of study, the work still poses significant questions. Who was the sitter and was the painting even intended as a portrait? Why had it remained in complete obscurity until it was rediscovered in 1882 and sold for the price of a reproduction? Was it a part of a pendant? Did Vermeer sell the painting during his lifetime? Why was the original background a deep transparent green rather than the black we see today? Was the pearl a real one? What significance did the turban have? Which painting procedures did Vermeer employ? Which pigments did he use? next door.
Girl with a Pearl Earring (film)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Girl with a Pearl Earring is a 2003 drama film directed by Peter Webber. The screenplay was adapted by screenwriter Olivia Hetreed based on the novel by Tracy Chevalier. The film starsScarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson and Cillian Murphy. The film is named after a painting of the same name by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. The film uses a bright color scheme as in Vermeer's paintings.
Vermeer's original painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring from 1665 Griet (Scarlett Johansson) is a young woman living in the Netherlands in the 1660s. Her father, aceramic painter, has recently gone blind, rendering him unable to work and putting his family in dire straits. Griet is subsequently sent to work as a maidin the home of the painter Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth).
In the course of their interactions as master and servant, Vermeer and Griet become casually acquainted and he learns of her interest in painting and her knowledge of color and artistic composition. Vermeer subsequently begins giving her lessons in mixing paints and other tasks, taking care to keep their meetings secret from his wife Catharina (Essie Davis), who would react very negatively if she found out that Griet and Vermeer were spending so much time together. In contrast, Vermeer's pragmatic mother-in-law (Judy Parfitt) sees Griet as a catalyzing and stabilizing force in Vermeer's career. On a routine trip outside the house, Griet also befriends a young man named Pieter (Cillian Murphy), the Vermeers' butcher's son, who is quickly taken with her,...
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