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Probably well done, but it didn't appeal much to me
Thomas Gibson is a new art teacher at a high school. Glenn Close is good as usual as a history teacher who invites Gibson to see a painting of a young girl at a table, which she believes to be a genuine Vermeer, and she tells him stories, which we see as flashbacks about the people who owned the painting in the past. All of the stories take place in Holland, and for the most part each story takes place earlier than the one preceding it. I have no idea what happened in the first story, from the late 1800s, except that it seemed to involve a romance and may have had flashbacks within flashbacks. At this point I was not enjoying the movie. Another story took place in the early 1700s when a baby was abandoned during a flood after a dike break. The painting accompanied the baby and was intended to be sold for the baby's expenses.
Things got a little more interesting in the next story, which had some of the movie's few humorous moments. A man left a university to take a job working with the machinery used for the dikes. He got interested in a servant girl who was punished by being put in stocks, and their romance was not seen as a good idea. We find out in this story where the baby came from.
The next story was very brief, but a woman, who was unsuccessful in bidding for the painting at an auction, seemed to know more about the painting than the auctioneer. The next story revealed how Vermeer came to paint the girl's picture, and this was somewhat more interesting than the rest of the movie. At this point we have seen relatively little of Gibson and Close, but it appears things will get better as they return. Gibson doubts the painting's authenticity, so one more story about Jews in 1942 is necessary.
This was part of the 'Hallmark Hall of Fame' series, and I usually enjoy these movies, but I found this one to be a disappointment. The best things about the movie were probably the beautiful Dutch houses in the city, and the camera shots of windmills. But this was just not for me. Maybe others would enjoy it.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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