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Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  30 January 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 57,445 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 288 user | 160 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

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)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris McHallem ...
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


Beauty inspires obsession. 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:

$89,472 (USA) (12 December 2003)


$11,634,362 (USA) (30 April 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


45 minutes into the movie, when Griet is walking in the snow, two Dutch sentences can be heard: "Hier, deze kant uit, Eva hier!" (Here, this way, Eva here!), and: "Hee voorzichtig nou. Ja, hee. Kijk uit! Zeg ik dat nou..." (Hey be careful. Hey. Watch it! I told you so...). See more »


When Griet and Pieter are walking on a lane in the countryside, in the distance you can see a man riding a bicycle. Bicycles were invented in the 18th century while the film takes place in 1665. See more »


[first lines]
Griet's Mother: Griet! Leave that.
See more »


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.45 (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The painting was better than the book
4 May 2004 | by (Orange County, CA USA) – See all my reviews

"Girl with a Pearl Earring" tells a fictional tale about how the title painting by 17th century Dutch painter Vermeer might have come to be. Outwardly, the film is a story about the painter and a household maid who becomes the subject of the painting. Inwardly, the film is about the unspoken but palpable feelings between two people of very different stature and station which may or may not be forever cast in the crazed pigments of the masterpiece. Those who can tap into the subtle human emotional undercurrents will find this film far more satisfying than those who cannot. Regardless, all will find "Girl with a Pearl Earring" a masterpiece of filmmaking. (A-)

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Scarlet's mouth made this movie unwatchable for me louisa-eggleton
WHY did they make this movie? mesaydayo
Thank goodness Kate Hudson and Kirsten Dunst pulled out ncmmorris
Why did they set this film in Italy? -; bminney
One of the best erotic non-sexual scenes... marga73
Earring Significance... LoreleiJones
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