Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in 17th century Holland, this speculative account focuses on a 16-year-old housemaid who was the inspiration for one of Johannes Vermeer's most famous paintings.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 100
    A quiet movie, shaken from time to time by ripples of emotional turbulence far beneath the surface.
  2. This is an art film in spades.
  3. 83
    Johansson, fittingly, is the focus. In her face, as in the faces of Vermeer's handful of captivating subjects, the viewer intuits whole stories and worlds.
  4. There are certain rare movies that speak to us solely through the power and initiative of their visuals. This is one of them, and if you're receptive to this kind of movie, and know Vermeer's work, it's an unusually satisfying, even enriching experience.
  5. 75
    One of those films that does many things right, and that places it among the year's best period pieces. It's a cut above the usual BBC costume drama.
  6. Laughably predictable in its plotting, crude in its symbolism, ploddingly paced and often rendered almost comical by the heavy-breathing overacting of Johansson's supporting cast.
  7. In filming this movie with such artistic precision, the movie ironically winds up objectifying Griet just as much as any appreciator of the original painting.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
  1. 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 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. Collapse

See all 27 User Reviews