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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)
3,307 ( 45)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 41 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


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:

$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?


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 Luxembourgh to New York city. See more »


At the dinner party, when Van Ruijven is looking at the painting created by Vermeer you can see that two similar, but slightly different paintings are used for the scene. See more »


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


Referenced in De slimste mens ter wereld: Episode #7.8 (2015) 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
One of the best erotic non-sexual scenes... marga73
Thank goodness Kate Hudson and Kirsten Dunst pulled out ncmmorris
Earring Significance... LoreleiJones
Why did they set this film in Italy? -; bminney
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