become a Patreon patron

film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Girl with a Pearl Earring (review)

What inspired one of Johannes Vermeer’s most enigmatic paintings, a portrait of a sad, mysterious girl wearing a blue headband and a single earring? This speculative but informed story, based on Tracy Chevalier’s best-selling novel, posits domestic intrigue at the 17th-century Delft household of the painter (Colin Firth: Love Actually) when a new maid, young Griet (Scarlett Johansson: Lost in Translation), incurs the jealousy of Vermeer’s wife and daughter, and scandal ensues. Powered by Machiavellian personal politics, this is a delicately underplayed film, bolstered by sensitive performances from Firth and Johansson — the scene in which he pierces her ear, drawing blood, so that she can pose for him wearing the famous earring, borrowed surreptitiously from his wife, is typical of the subtle eroticism that suffuses their relationship. Most lovely of all, director Peter Webber turns every frame into momentary Vermeer canvases, elegant interplays of light, shadow, and muted color.

When you purchase or rent almost anything from Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and iTunes (globally), you help support my work at Flick Filosopher. Please use my links when you’re shopping at either service. Thank you!

MPAA: rated PG-13 for some sexual content

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
posted in:

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap