Girl with a Pearl Earring

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 54
  2. Negative: 7 out of 54

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User Reviews

  1. May 5, 2016
    8
    Girl with a Pearl Earring proves that Scarlett Johansson can even save a movie by very impressive acting. See this only if you're in it for her or if you want to see a great movie.
  2. RichardM.
    Jul 27, 2005
    9
    I thought the tension that was created in the book was expertally portrayed in the film, with Tracey Chevalier's messages coming through loud and clear.
  3. JoH.
    Feb 6, 2005
    10
    This movie will take your breathe away. Definitely a piece of art in motion.
  4. MitchM.
    Dec 7, 2004
    8
    A fascinating glimpse at the stultifying life of the lowlands middle class, with carefully rendered details and a transcendent performance by Scarlett Johansson that is mesmerizing.
  5. DonaldO.
    May 31, 2004
    10
    A soft, inspired and delicately romantic film. It captures a special time, infuses it with unfulfilled, quiet passion, and seems to explain both the vision and motivation of an artist. Moreover, it poses questions in subtle ways that reveal themselves to viewers long after the credits roll. A splendid experience.
  6. MarcusB.
    May 18, 2004
    10
    It's a telling sign that so many viewers are criticizing this movie for its slow pace or lack of "plot". Since when do films absolutely have to have fast paced, clear-cut storylines that even the bridge and tunnel crowd can follow? This is the antithesis to the cookie cutter storylines normally coming out of Hollywood. No car chases, no magically satisfying ending where all is neatly It's a telling sign that so many viewers are criticizing this movie for its slow pace or lack of "plot". Since when do films absolutely have to have fast paced, clear-cut storylines that even the bridge and tunnel crowd can follow? This is the antithesis to the cookie cutter storylines normally coming out of Hollywood. No car chases, no magically satisfying ending where all is neatly tied together (Americans do love their happy endings...), no emphasis on triumph of the spirit (the "I can do it if I apply myself" illusion). Just life. Expand
  7. MarcusB.
    May 18, 2004
    10
    It's a telling sign that so many viewers are criticizing this movie for its slow pace or lack of "plot". Since when do films absolutely have to have fast paced, clear-cut storylines that even the bridge and tunnel crowd can follow? This is the antithesis to the cookie cutter storylines normally coming out of Hollywood. No car chases, no magically satisfying ending where all is neatly It's a telling sign that so many viewers are criticizing this movie for its slow pace or lack of "plot". Since when do films absolutely have to have fast paced, clear-cut storylines that even the bridge and tunnel crowd can follow? This is the antithesis to the cookie cutter storylines normally coming out of Hollywood. No car chases, no magically satisfying ending where all is neatly tied together (Americans do love their happy endings...), no emphasis on triumph of the spirit (the "I can do it if I apply myself" illusion). Just life. Expand
  8. MattR.
    May 18, 2004
    10
    Terrific film. Being so sick of overproduced Hollywood films where producers believe that action makes up for content and substance, this was a welcome respite. Terrific cinematography, wonderful acting and an overall captivating mood. To the reviewer who noted that Lord of the Rings made more money: so what? Do box office receipts equate film excellence? Of course not.
  9. Kecia
    Apr 28, 2004
    8
    Am I the only one that nearly knocked my drink over every time Vermeer so much as walked past Griet? Scarlett Johansson is inspiringly beautiful, and the camera focuses lovingly on her fine wide nose and touchable lips. I was pleasantly suprised, having seen it for the first time last night, that a movie with so little heavy drama could have me on the edge of my seat, clenching my toes Am I the only one that nearly knocked my drink over every time Vermeer so much as walked past Griet? Scarlett Johansson is inspiringly beautiful, and the camera focuses lovingly on her fine wide nose and touchable lips. I was pleasantly suprised, having seen it for the first time last night, that a movie with so little heavy drama could have me on the edge of my seat, clenching my toes and holding my breath like it was a hollywood thriller at just the brush of the painter and the maid's hands. Expand
  10. TracyR.
    Mar 31, 2004
    7
    A little too cautious and careful a movie to be a perfect 10, it is literate, interesting and beautifully fragile. restrained acting and subtle direction make it a quiet pleasure to watch if you just let it sneak up on you. Kudos for Scarlett Johanssen for acting physically with her body. Her position on things as they were happening were crystal clear although the dialogue really A little too cautious and careful a movie to be a perfect 10, it is literate, interesting and beautifully fragile. restrained acting and subtle direction make it a quiet pleasure to watch if you just let it sneak up on you. Kudos for Scarlett Johanssen for acting physically with her body. Her position on things as they were happening were crystal clear although the dialogue really didn't tell you. Now that's acting. Expand
  11. CameronS.
    Feb 27, 2004
    10
    Girl With a Pearl Earring is a beautiful film that appears as if it were composed as if it were an actual painting. Scarlett Johannson plays Griet, the title character. An illiterate maiden of Johannes Vermeer, a very popular and skilled artist of the time, he only made about 35 paintings. Vermeer?s wife had eleven or so children. You don?t see too many of them in the movie, but that?s Girl With a Pearl Earring is a beautiful film that appears as if it were composed as if it were an actual painting. Scarlett Johannson plays Griet, the title character. An illiterate maiden of Johannes Vermeer, a very popular and skilled artist of the time, he only made about 35 paintings. Vermeer?s wife had eleven or so children. You don?t see too many of them in the movie, but that?s probably because they haven?t all been made yet. She was quite the productive type and he was not. The film takes place in Holland, 1665. It is a quiet, subtle, minimalist film that is more concerned with its story and characters and colors to worry much about anything else. At a swift 95 minutes, it leaves no fat to chop. A more popular, experienced director with a bigger budget would have made some scenes that play out as it isn?t a very big deal would have blown everything up, spent more time and money setting it up, and would have given the scene way too much dialogue and make the scene seem bigger than it is. Take for example when Vermeer models his wife?s pearl earring?s as an example for what he wants out Griet; or when the mother-in-law pays her to model for the painting. It is played off as if it is without much consequence, and I really liked it like that. Scarlett Johansson?s performance is one of the premiere performances of the year, because she tells us everything with her face. Should this be a parable of the actually painting, a completely fictional story inspired most solely on one painting, one image. She demonstrates everything through her eyes and her facial expressions, much as she did in Lost in Translation. Griet?s interactions with Vermeer are about discovery. Take for example when she is first asks for permission to wash the windows in the painting studio, for she fears the changing of light will make things difficult for Vermeer. He also asks her once what colors are in the sky, at first she just says white, but then takes a real look at it and tells him all sorts of colors. This leads us to believe that she very well could have been a painter in a different time. But in a different time, Vermeer could have just split Holland with her and move somewhere else, divorce his wife and pay atrocious child support bills for the rest of his life with Griet. Van Rujiven, who wants his next painting to be of him and others in a pub with a lovely girl serving him, commissioned Vermeer?s paintings of the time. He selects Griet, which forces her to remain in the house longer, contrary to the wife?s wishes, but not in contrast to the mother-in-law, who is more concerned with income that she is with her daughter?s feelings. The painting will go on. There is a very sexual undertone to the film. When she is asked to take her cap off, it is like her undressing to reveal her nude beauty, though it is just her hair. And when Vermeer pierces her ear with a pearl piece, it is a penetration of sorts featuring a release of blood. For anyone thinking that the film is boring or dull, think again for there is some emotional instability along the way. (Explain Pieter.) Griet develops a boyfriend-like character named Pieter (Cillian Murphy from 28 Days Later) who fancies seeing her hair unlocked. The film has been nominated for three Oscars: Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Art Direction. Because neither Peter Pan nor Lord of the Rings received nods for cinematography, it is the best of the five nominated. It reflects everything cinematography is about, colors and compositions. The films camerawork is done as if it were a real painting. The colors used by the director are strokes of beauty painted all over the place, much like Peter Jackson did with his little films. Expand
  12. JimH.
    Jan 23, 2004
    7
    Like watching an exquisite painting . . . dry.
  13. BillS.
    Jan 8, 2004
    9
    A beautiful, quietly emotional work of cinema canvas. Each scene like a Vermeer painting unto itself, each subtle nuance of emotion and sensuality worth a thousand words (which are in enigmatically short supply from the talented and heartbreakingly beautiful Scarlett Johansson). The previous comments posted here ring very true. Not a film for those looking for something shallow, loud and A beautiful, quietly emotional work of cinema canvas. Each scene like a Vermeer painting unto itself, each subtle nuance of emotion and sensuality worth a thousand words (which are in enigmatically short supply from the talented and heartbreakingly beautiful Scarlett Johansson). The previous comments posted here ring very true. Not a film for those looking for something shallow, loud and artificial. Expand
  14. NoreenH.
    Dec 29, 2003
    9
    Beautiful, understated, Colin Firth. Not for basketball fans and Nascar Dads.
  15. DougS.
    Dec 13, 2003
    10
    A masterpiece !
  16. KatS.
    Dec 13, 2003
    9
    A movie of subtlety and beauty. More action beneath the surface with its wealth of "interior" acting and minimal dialog. Not for everyone, but I thought it was touching and exquisite.
  17. DaveT.
    Dec 10, 2003
    9
    Excellent period film, engaging despite the slow pace and limited dialogue. Beautifully filmed and enjoyable even for those unfamiliar with Vermeer.
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. The actress (Scarlett Johansson) gives a nearly silent performance, yet the interplay on her face of fear, ignorance, curiosity, and sex is intensely dramatic.
  2. This is an art film in spades.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    An intelligent, visually ravishing adaptation of Tracy Chevalier's best-selling novel.