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
Although Vermeer and the painting both are real historic figures, the screenplay is based on Tracy Chevalier's novel and therefore largely fictional or hypothetical. Only 36 Vermeer paintings are known to exist today, and none of the models has ever been positively identified. A poster of the painting in her bedroom inspired Chevalier to write her own version of how it came to exist, based on the framework of Vermeer's known history. Chevalier sold the film rights and opted not to have any involvement in the film or screenplay, although after its release said that she was pleased with the results. See more »
When Griet and Vermeer look at the clouds standing in front of the window, it's winter (according to the scenes before and after this one). Nevertheless, you can hear the sounds of swallows squeaking. These birds are only in The Netherlands in summer. See more »
Paintings at an Exhibition, in a Magnificent Contemplative Art Work
In Delfti, Holland, 1665, the poor seventeen years old Griet (Scarlett Johansson) is hired as a maid in the household of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth), to maintain her family. The Vermeer family is supported by the powerful and wealthy commissioner Van Ruijven (Tom Wilkinson), and is totally dependent on the inspiration of master Johannes Vermeer to keep their high standard of living as if they were rich. When Griet arrives in the breast of Vermeer's family, she understands the relation of power among the members of the family and Van Ruijven, and meanwhile, a platonic love and attraction develop between Johannes and her, due to her feelings and perspective relative to his work. "Girl With a Pearl Earring" is a magnificent contemplative art work and a beautiful dramatic romance based on a famous painting, which has this name. It is known that the maid who worked in Vermeer's house was the model and inspiration for such a piece of arts. However, the dramatization, based on an adaptation of Tracy Chevalliers's novel, is a fiction. The reconstitution of Delftt in the Seventeenth Century is amazingly perfect, being based on paintings of that time. Watching this film, the viewer feels as if he or she were seeing paintings at an exhibition, and if he or she pauses the DVD on any scene, will have a magnificent painting on the screen of the TV. The intense performance of the cast and direction are overwhelming, highlighting the spectacular Scarlett Johansson, who is in my opinion, one of the best "new"actress in the cinema industry. Most of the feelings and sensations of the characters are transmitted through the looks and expressions of the actors and actresses. This movie had three Oscar nominations in 2003 (cinematography, art direction and costume design) and two Golden Globe nominations, and is highly recommended to any viewer who appreciates arts. I am a positive fan of movies, I always try to find the beautiful points or entertainment it can offer, instead of looking for destructive parts, like most of the professional critics do, but "Girl With a Pearl Earring" has superseded my uppermost expectations. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Moça Com Brinco de Pérola" ("Young Woman With Pearl Earring')
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