Girl with a Pearl Earring
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Customer Reviews:

  • One of the most beautiful films I've ever seen
    The beauty of it's cinematography is simply wonderful. Each scene suggests an art's master piece through a story brilliantly told....more info
  • A moving painting
    I awarded this particular film 5 stars for one simple reason: I would press 'pause' on my DVD players every 2 minutes, just to stare at some scenes, that looked just as if they were paintings made by great artists of the baroque era. Both the director of photography and the director of the film must have a deep knowledge of the way Johannes Vermeer - and his contemporaries - painted.
    What first caght my attention when I watched this film was its photography, but I have to admit, the story, even so subtle as it is, is very touching. It bears the light fragrant of artistic passion and, even though it does not tread on traditional filming standards, it depicts quite exceptionally the kind of understanding that binds people who can 'see' and appreciate beauty, and the dangers and obstacles that lie in the path of their communication with the rest (and what tensions may arise due to sociological reasons - even though the present era differs in style and ethos from that of middle 1600s it is essentially characterized by similar social patterns).
    If you love art and beauty, you will love this film. If you prefer action or Hollywood melo love stories, this is a no-go for you....more info
  • 3 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    An impressive adaptation of Chevalier's novel that (for my money) does many things better than the book, Girl With a Pearl Earring resists any urges to amplify the book's quiet drama and instead turns in a subtly effective little story....more info
  • short and sweet!
    At just a little over an hour and a half, this film is very different from 1991's four hour long "La Belle Noiseuse" which was also about the relationship between an artist and his model. That film was more about the artistic process itself, whereas "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is more of a historical and sociological study, with a little bit of art on top.

    The dominant image this film leaves is of the rigid social and economic class structure of 17th century Holland, which all of the characters including the artist Vermeer are all bound by. A more descriptive title for this movie might have been, "Life of a 17th Century Dutch Maid-cum-Model."

    Cinematography is gorgeous, the whole film has the color and lighting of a Vermeer painting in fact. Unlike most European art and art/historical films this one has fairly decent pacing, so even the more attention-span-challenged viewers will survive. Johansson is perfectly cast, and all the actors perform well. This certainly ranks as a film worth watching more than once....more info
  • The maid who inspired the artist!
    Beautifull, subtle and delightfull would be the words to describe this film. This film despite being brief, is really amazing and throws light on Vermeer quite well, played by the versatile Colin Firt. Scarlett Johannson was beyond words, her potrayal of the young maid was simply beautifull and so was Essie Davis in the role of the painter's wife. Truely amazing performences by everyone in the film. This is a unique, exceptional film, really worth a watch. My rating 4.2 / 5 ...more info
  • A Portrait Comes to Life and Captures the Viewer's Heart
    This film captures social, cultural and everyday life in 17th Century Holland beautifully and artistically through the eyes of Griet, a young hired servant who works in the household of a famous Dutch artist. Her emotions are captured superbly by the camera through long and short shots of her facial features. Griet is perfectly portrayed by Scarlett Johanssen. Essentially, the film is about the relationship that develops very gradually and subtley between the artist Johannes Vermeer and Griet as she learns about creating art. She is sent by her family to work in their house because her father is ill and the family needs the money. Griet learns a lot about different lifestyles and class differences by living with this family. She sees how the artist and his family totally depend on the patron for their living. They plan a grand dinner for the patron, Van Ruijven and his family to unveil the completion of a portrait of his wife and also to celebrate the birth of a baby into the Vermeer household. The dependency of the artist and his family on the patron, the absolute need to accomodate to his personal tastes and wishes, no matter what his character and behavior ... even to the point of compromise and deception within the Vermeer family is very well shown. Griet's own limited choices in life, her budding friendship with the butcher's son, the possibility for romance and a future together is nicely presented.

    The flow of life within the Vermeer household is artistically filmed using different color schemes and shadings of light ... portrayng the life of the servants contrasted with the life of the family. Colin Firth plays Vermeer, the quiet, handsome, brooding and thoughtful artist ... He shuts himself off in his studio to paint, to create artistic pieces using elegant color and light, capturing distinct moods and feelings. His wife Catherine is less artistic and more shallow. She is viewed as the dependent, spoiled wife of the artist, whose wit and charm can have a razor sharp edge when they are crossed. Her instincts register a threat after Griet's sleeping quarters are moved to the artists studio although the move is done to provide privacy for another servant. When Catherine again becomes pregnant ... Catherine's mother makes clear that everyone depends on Vermeer for their livlihoods - she is not averse to deceiving her own daughter by letting Johannes paint Griet in order to continue their lifestyle. Griet is warned by Pietr, the butcher's son, "you are a fly in his web". The character of Van Ruijven is very well explored ... catering to his whims and procliviites. There are several episodes within the film where Catherine's shrewish jealous fits are sure signs that Griet's future is not assured within this family structure. Rumors surface at the marketplace about Griet and the artist. Amazingly, there is a magnificent conclusion to the events of Griet's relationship with Johannes Vermeer. The ending is quite touching and sensitively filmed. For this viewer, it was a total surprise.
    Erika Borsos (pepper flower)...more info
  • Left Way Too Much To Be Desired
    I can't understand why this movie is getting such high ratings. I haven't read the novel to this movie and nor do I want to now. This movie killed any interest I could have had with this story. I haven't seen such stiff and unconvincing actors in a long time that brought absolutely nothing to their characters worth any interest. Honestly they all bored me to tears. I can't really blame the actors though entirely, but Scarlett especially was boring. Movies of this sort can be so rich and wonderful if only there are characters worth giving a damn about, which there aren't in this film. They're so dull and lifeless in my opinion. Where's the passion at all? There is none. They just stand around staring blankly at each other but you're supposed to just get everything they don't do and don't say. And poor Cillian Murphy is so limited in this film, and yet to me was still ironically the most interesting person in the film.

    What can I say? There is nothing I liked about this film. Sure the scenery is done well enough but the characters, the storyline itself- is not worth watching at all. So I say to pass this movie by. There are much better films in the same vein as this one with a much more interesting story and also characters.

    1/5...more info
  • Disappointing Ending
    This movie was beautifully done.The scenery was truly lovely.The ending was so abrupt though.It just ends!! Nothing like the ending in the book. so for me that knocks it down a few notches.Scarlet Johanson did a wonderful job however, her face looked like she was always in pain!...more info
  • A sensual revelation
    Girl With a Pearl Earring is a genuine revelation, a quite remarkable film that pares down the narrative to concentrate on the unsaid, creating a remarkably sensual film in every sense of the word. That it looks beautiful should be and is a given, but more importantly it's a real piece of cinema. You really get a sense of the huge importance of art and the strong emotions it can unleash without resorting to speechifying or purple prose, just beautiful filmmaking that reveals a whole world with a subtle intensity: the wife's feeling of betrayal at the painting seems absolutely and horribly believable - it really is a far greater infidelity than if he had slept with her. There's a real sense of revelation to the film, a kind of early Christmas morning feeling. Scarlett Johansson is excellent, as for once is Colin Firth (a fine stage actor but all too often an uncomfortably constipated one on screen), but everything is just right about the movie. Quite superb.

    ...more info
  • Defective discs 2 out of 2
    I received two copies of this DVD, one from Amazon and one from a different source. both DVDs had the same problem.
    About 10 minutes into the movie the picels started breaking up and a little while later, the movie just froze.
    Tried it on different players and computers and still no joy.
    Had to get refunds on both.

    Must be a manufacturing glitch....more info
  • Highly Recommended
    Contrary to some, I don't think that Scarlett Johansson does such a brilliant job in this lovely film about the genesis of Vermeer's painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring." Rather, I think the camera is infatuated with her, which is appropriate considering that the theme of this film is the deep connection between art and eros.

    This carefully constructed film shows that art is transgressive, even that it is a kind of rape, as the scene in which Vermeer pierces young Griet's earlobe clearly reveals. The billowing white garments on their clotheslines, the carefully pressed white cap which must be put aside for the artful headpiece in the painting, the washtubs and soap scrubbing scenes -- all of these contribute to the theme, most baldly revealed when Vermeer's patron Pieter Van Ruijven violently approaches Griet by the clotheslines. "Unplucked still?" he asks. All that's left to expose is the proverbial blood on the sheets.

    If Vermeer truly has, as Griet accuses him, "looked inside" her to paint his picture, his wife, played brilliantly by Essie Davis, is right to feel betrayed. Mother and son-in-law play pimp to the quasi-pornographic, voyeuristic needs of the patron. The film explores this nexus of interests slowly, carefully, with a single-minded focus that itself amounts to a kind of rape. A very dark film about the intimate link between sex and art. So single-minded that it sometimes feels heavy-handed, though the photography is luminous....more info
  • Another lost opportunity
    I give this movie 3 stars due to the transcendent beauty of the filming.
    I give it only 3 due to the second half of the movie. I give the first half 5 stars plus! The problem? It is similar to such movies as "Immortal Beloved", the one about Beethoven that has gotten so many rave reviews. They are both lost opportunities of creating movies about artists, composers which reflect truth. How much more exciting, interesting and moving would it have been if it had followed what we know of the life of the artist and the creation of the painting...which is not much, but less is more.

    In this one, we know little about the life of Vermeer, so what do directors, screenwriters, producers do...they make up salacious sensational soap-opera events to attract the 21st century movie going audience. What they have done is blasphemous to the integrity and art of Vermeer. Why couldn't we have had a movie about ONLY the creation of this incredible painting..."The Girl with the Pearl Earring"? Just the making of the painting, without adding fabricated rapes and domestic marital strife. It is almost as if the creators of this movie hated Vermeer.
    Shame on you. Shame on those who created the false sensationalism of the Beethoven Immortal Beloved movie too.

    If you purchase this movie. Watch only the first half. The last half is not about art or Vermeer, but about money for filmakers. Filmakers who have no understanding of what true beauty is, and the spiritual integrity which ensues if you follow truth rather than cheap tawdry fiction.

    P.S. The actors were wonderful, I give them 5 stars, despite the meretricious screenplay....more info
  • the "feel" of a good movie without being one
    Someone seems to have made the mistake of thinking that if you take great talent, like Vermeer's, and have him portrayed by a normally wonderful actor like Colin Firth, and wrap it all up in a pretty package in the end you will have a great movie. Oops, they forgot the story-they may have thought they had one, but it was completely invisible to me.

    A group of unlikeable and very disinteresting people interacting "mysteriously" about something-or-other. I just lost interest fairly early-on and never could quite take it all in again. I'd rather be sleeping. zzz ...more info
  • Well acted, beautifully shot, leaves a little in the way of storytelling
    Scarlett Johansson's selection for the role of the girl (supposedlty the painter's maid) immortalized in Vermeer's painting with a pearl earring is simply perfect. And she adds on to the great choice by delivering an extraordinary performance, not too far from her delivery in "Lost in Translation". The cinematography and music was awe inspiring at many moments too.

    As for shortcomings, the movie feels like it could have gone further in terms of the storytelling and building of a conflict. In the end, the situation lands into what feels as a rather abrupt ending leaving a few underdeveloped elements, such as the case of the painter's daughter and the painter's patron and own their respective mini-plots with the maid.

    Still in the end, it is a good movie. Just not a five star film....more info
  • Horrible
    The only thing I thought was cool about this film was the cinematography and how much it looks like a Flemish painting of the time.

    Beyond that? Spoiler ALERT: there is no point to this. The movie sucked, adn after all this, they didn't even get it on??? Come on. No seriously, I'm all against gratuitous sex, but after the pain of this, it was all I had to look forward to.

    Oh, and Johanssen sucks. She plays the obstacle and never picks up her cues. Firth is alright, but the script sucks.

    I wish I was more eloquent with my language, but I don't think this movie deserves it....more info
  • Mesmerizing
    I love this movie! I've always been a fan of Colin Firth & he gives a wonderful performance in this movie. It makes you think about Vermeer in a whole new way. I recently bought the book. I hope it proves to be as spell-binding as the movie. Enjoy!...more info
  • Girl with the Pearl Earring DVD
    A great movie - bought as a Christmas gift and received in a quick
    manner. The recipient has encouraged me to read the book....more info
  • Lacks direction & context
    Watching this film feels like being a Peeping Tom. One peeks for a moment into the private lives of one household, without any sense of background, or any idea of where their lives are going. Then the moment is over.

    I have not read the book, but from what I understand, the book has considerably more detail in it. This is detail which no doubt helps the reader understand more fully the situations and motives of the various characters. Of necessity, a film adaptation has to omit a lot of detail or risk becoming hopelessly bogged down. However, so much crucial information is left out here that the film achieves a certain weightless quality and simply drifts. I found myself not caring a whit for any of these characters, none of whom could I identify as being even remotely a real person.

    It wasn't a bad film by any means, but it lacked the necessary substance to make a lasting impression. Very attractive, but that was about it for me....more info
  • A TRUE BARGAIN FOR THE PRICE
    This movie is a great find for any art lover. The entire film offers the beautiful essence of the oil painting by Vermeer. I'm not saying it is as great as the master's painting; it is however, as sensual and reveals the color quality from the painting.

    Griet, the girl in the picture, played by Scarlett Johansson, is masterful in that, even with many moments where she has no dialogue, her expressions and the glances of her eyes tells the story of the painting over and over and over. She is a goddess-like beauty but at the same time plain as any Delft maid in 1665. What she does NOT say tells much of the painting's story.

    Colin Firth is...well, Colin Firth is top-drawer good and this time not as an Englishman. He does a perfect job portraying the artist, Vermeer, in love with the picture's composition and subject, NOT the girl herself.

    For anyone who recognizes the painting, this is a gem (or should we call it a "PEARL"? A welcome film companion to the art work. And if you like this, try to locate a copy of "Sunday in the Park with George" a musical based upon the characters painted by Seurat in his masterpiece "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte". ...more info
  • VERMEER FICTIONALIZED
    You don't have to be an artist appreciate the cinematography of this film but unless you are aesthetically or visually impaired you cannot help but love it. Every shot is composed, lit and photographed as would Vermeer were he a filmmaker-every scene is a photo-painting in the style of the master. For the visual quality alone anyone with the eye, if not the actual skill of an artist , must see it.

    As for the story, the very cleverly developed tale is an interesting, if not predictable one. A young peasant girl (Grete?), whose artist father was blinded, needs work and is employed by the Vermeer household as a servant. The household, apprently run by Vermeer's clever mother-in-law and which is captive of a lustful and wealthy patron, who lusts after the the newly hired servant girl-Grete, as does Vermeer, whose wife is in a constant state of pregnancy, leaving the artist to seek out other conquests, one of which may be the strong-willed servant girl. I won't spoil the rest of the plot which women may appreciate more than men, but I liked the film overall in the following breakdown:
    Visual quality and ability to mimic Vermeer's world and his art, 5 stars. Story 4.5 stars. ...more info
  • BAD DVD last 20 minutes of film skipped and froze.
    Good story about the events that brought the girl to sit for the painting. Not terribly exciting, but compelling. Too bad DVD failed to play the last 20 minutes of the film. So much for quality control....more info
  • Near-Perfect Adaptation Of An Imaginative Novel
    This entire movie LOOKED like a Vermeer painting brought to life, as if the long-ago figures immortalized by that Dutch master had somehow stepped onscreen. An amazing feat in and of itself. This is a faithful adaptation of Tracy Chevalier's novel of the same name, and it elaborates on what is known (i.e. nothing) about the model in the famous portrait, and in so doing the motion picture crafts an entire backstory to explain the creation of a haunting painting. This movie is also a skilled depiction of life in the Netherlands three and a half centuries ago, during the one and only time that nation was a world power. And let's not forget the fine performances here by Colin Firth, and of course a siren-like and yet skillfully subdued Scarlett Johansson. This is one to see!...more info
  • The Maid Becomes An Inspirational Muse....
    I think many of us may be familiar with 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer's painting "Girl With A Pearl Earring", but many of us may have always wondered who the girl in the picture actually was and how she was chosen to be the subject of this painting.

    The movie, "Girl With A Pearl Earring", is based on the fictional novel of the same name by author Tracy Chevalier. It isn't known who the girl in the painting actually is and I think the novel (for which the moive is based) does a wonderful job of speculating who the subject of the painting actually is...... Actress, Scarlett Johansson, plays the part of a maid for the Vermeer family named Griet. Griet becomes the muse/inspiration for the painting when Johannes Vermeer is commissioned by a wealthy patron of the arts to paint Griet as the subject for Vermeer's next painting.

    Most of the focus of the movie is on the character of Griet--- who she is and how she comes to be the subject of the painting by Johannes Vermeer. This is an excellent movie. Great acting, scenery, costumes and lighting. Highly recommend watching this movie....more info
  • A fascination more than romance - Sadly & Quietly captivating
    I was pleasantly surprised that this period piece fictionalized the "story behind a painting" without the typical need for overt sexual involvement. What I mean by that, is that this book-to-film was more about the understanding between house-maid and artist, not a sexual realtionship...... which was a welcome difference in fictional period films about muses and their masters.

    It is a quietly developing film, neither tedious nor upbeat. The story of Vermeer stays financially and pictorially correct to history - down to the names, scenery, and the likeness of the characters depcited in his true paintings (which was refreshing). The drama of his financial need to stay afloat, while being supported by his mother inlaw, is historically accurate - as well as his patronige with one affluent buyer, keeping the truth of Vermeer's Dutch local fame true to life as well.

    The fictional involvement of Johansson's house-maid character is the meat of the film - but as I said before - I found a serene beauty in her being Vermeer's muse, without either infidelity or even many words being spoken between she and the master painter. It was a fascination on both parts more than a romance. She understood his art; Through his fascination with her she learned/understood light, space and movement, the mixing of pigments and had an appreciation for his art that Vermeer's wife could not compete with or comprehend - causing the main dramas.

    The film is subtlely endearing.... some may find it too slow, but I thought the many quiet moments and unspoken thoughts in this film added to artistic appreciation, instead of plot distraction and chaos. The nasty characters inflict just enough threat to make both painter and maid pitiable in their plight. But overall, you are left with a serenity and sadness for how the painting of the Pearl Earring came about and captivated with the purity of Vermeer's art. ...more info
  • Girl with the Pearl Earring
    The movie was great. There were no scratches on the DVD and the case was in good condition as well. I would definitely buy from this seller again in the future....more info