Girl With a Pearl Earring [VHS]
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Product Description

You wouldn't think a movie could look like a Vermeer painting, but Girl with a Pearl Earring is filmed with an amazing range of luminous glows that evoke the Dutch artist's masterworks. Of course, it helps that much of the movie centers on Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, Ghost World), whose creamy skin and full lips have a luminosity of their own. Johansson plays Griet, a maid in the household of Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth, Bridget Jones' Diary, Fever Pitch), who finds herself in a web of jealousy, artistic inspiration, and social machinations. Though the pace is slow, Girl with a Pearl Earring genuinely conveys some sense of an artist's process, as well as offering many chaste yet sensual moments between Firth and Johansson. Also featuring Essie Davis as Vermeer's bitter wife and Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom) as a wealthy patron with eyes for Griet. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews:

  • 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
  • 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
  • A beautiful and moving movie
    "Girl With a Pearl Earring" is a beautiful filmed movie. I watched the movie with a few friends and we'all agree it was a wonderful film. Scarlet Johansson-Gritis sent of to work to help her family financially,Grit is sent to work in the household of a dutch artist Vermeer, who becomes obsessed with grit and she became the subject of a painting, there were sensual moments between grit and vermeer.and there is tension and web of jealously and secrets in the household. read more.This movie is definitely worth seeing....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Ideal Film for Art History Students
    I feel like this film is perfect to watch, not only for entertainment, but also for education. It is not a biography on Vermeer; it is a portrayal of his life as he painted his most beautiful work. It was interesting to see the scenes where he is extracting colors and mixing his paint, as well as posing Griet for the right lighting etc., because it added to the film real concepts of art and painting....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
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring
    The film took me back in time. The set and costumes were amazing. I felt as though I was a witness to the secrecy of Vermeer's painting. I felt for Griet. I hoped that meeting the great Vermeer would bring her contentment. What is to become of this girl, kept me watching....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
  • Scarlett Johansson looks like the girl in Vermeer's painting
    "Girl With a Pearl Earring" is a wonderful film. The story is about the artis Vermeer and how he came to paint the 'Girl With a Pearl Earring'. Scarlett Johansson- Griet - is sent off to work in the Vermeer household as a maid. She is wonderful in the role and looks alot like the girl in the painting. She is courted by the butcher's son played by Gillian Murphy but seems to have feelings for Vermeer. She does alot for Vermeer in secret. Colin Firth - Vermeer - is great. Vermeer seems to have something for Griet, whether it is lust or just an interest as an artist, is what you have to decide. Tom Wilkinson is the patron who buys alot of Vermeer's paintings. He wants Griet and is determined to have her one way or another. He has Vermeer to paint her. Vermeer has to keep him satisfied to keep him buying his paintings. The film has secracy, romance, deciet, and seduction. It really makes you sit up and watch. You have to read between the lines because some things are just not said, you have to fill it in yourself. Recommeded to 16 and above. Would see it again! Really enjoyed after learning about Vermeer in class....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
  • 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
  • It Doesn't Get Much Prettier Than This
    I may be biased because I love great cinematography and stories about famous painters but, regardless, this is one beautiful DVD!

    It's a slow story but if you can stay with it, this film offers some of the prettiest images I've ever seen on film. Scene after scene looks like a classic painting come to life. Sometimes the cameras stay on subject longer than normal, affording the viewer time to really soak it up.

    Scarlet Johannson says very little but is fascinating to watch. For the first-time viewer, there a tension that builds throughout the film leaving wondering what bad thing is about to happen. The story is not an upbeat one, yet not depressing either.

    This movie inspired me to read the book, and I enjoyed that, too. Either version, you can't go wrong.

    ...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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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