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Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

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A young peasant maid working in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer becomes his talented assistant and the model for one of his most famous works.



(novel), (screenplay)
3,123 ( 71)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris McHallem ...
Griet's Father
Gabrielle Reidy ...
Anaïs Nepper ...
Melanie Meyfroid ...
Nathan Nepper ...


This film, adapted from a work of fiction by author Tracy Chevalier, tells a story about the events surrounding the creation of the painting "Girl With a Pearl Earring" by 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. Little is known about the girl in the painting, it is speculated that she was a maid who lived in the house of the painter along with his family and other servants, though there is no historical evidence. This masterful film attempts to recreate the mysterious girl's life. Griet, played by Scarlett Johansson, is a maid in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer, played by British actor Colin Firth. Vermeer's wealthy patron and sole means of support, Van Ruijven, commissions him to paint Griet with the intent that he will have her for himself before it is finished. She must somehow secretly pose for the crucial painting without the knowledge of Vermeer's wife, avoid Van Ruijven's grasp, and protect herself from the cruel gossip of the world of a 17th century servant. Written by thexotherxchris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He had a vision no one saw as clearly as she. In a house where everything had its place, where every image had meaning, he gave her the power to see the light. She gave him a look that would last forever..... See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

30 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Mädchen mit dem Perlenohrring  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£384,498 (United Kingdom), 18 January 2004, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$89,472, 14 December 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,634,362, 2 May 2004
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


Out of all the animals used in the various scenes, Scarlett Johansson fell in love with one of the cats and named it 'Merkin'. The production went to great lengths to allow her to adopt the cat and arrange it to be transported from Luxembourg to New York city. See more »


Whilst looking at the clouds out of the window together, both Scarlett Johansson (Griet) and Colin Firth (Vermeer) are visibly trying to stop themselves from giggling. See more »


[first lines]
Griet's Mother: Griet! Leave that.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Beautiful like the painting of an old Dutch master
14 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

I have just seen "Girl with a pearl earring" and I am already willing to see it again. The feeling is very much the same as wanting another tour in a gallery of paintings of old Dutch masters, to enjoy repeatedly the beauty of light and shadow and colours. Scarlett Johansson is both very pretty and talented and the camera lovingly moves around her, searching for her beautiful eyes and puffy lustful lips, very much reminding me of Bertolucci's love for the beauty of Liv Tyler in "Stealing beauty". Colin Firth is again producing a most powerful impact by his tall dominating figure, deep beautiful voice and reserved yet sensual and passionate attitude. A strikingly good picture in the ocean of mediocre productions.

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