Girl with a Pearl Earring seemed like a very interesting film, a great cast, a strong film composer such as Alexandre Desplat and of course a film that uses paintings. Maybe because of the sometimes meditative pacing or the subject matter Girl with a Pearl Earring won't appeal to all. However it did to me, what I saw was a very well made, beautifully scored and directed and well acted film. I am all for visually stunning movies. Stunning isn't enough for me, the whole film right down to the cinematography to the evocative costumes, sets and scenery looks exquisite. And need I mention the wonderful paintings? Add to that strong direction, Desplat's most haunting and most beautifully-used score, a script that doesn't feel at all stilted and a moving story and you have a great film. But I cannot mention the cast, Colin Firth and Tom Wilkinson are splendid as always, and Scarlett Johanssen is at her loveliest. In conclusion, may seem like a cliché, but this film is like the paintings featured, a work of art. 9/10 Bethany Cox
This is a period drama, based on a fictional novel by Tracy Chevalier. Of course it is based on a genuine painting, although little is known about the circumstances behind it. I thought I might as well add briefly that I do quite like art, some artists moreso than others, I wouldn't say im especially cultured or what-not but I like to think I can appreciate a good piece of work and I was familiar with the painting before having seen the film. Themes include social standing, lust and jealousy.
The first thing I noticed was that I felt Scarlet Johansson seemed a very good choice of actor for the main role - she looked very expressive, constantly curious and a bit unsure of what to make of her new surroundings and the people she worked for. In the painting, I always felt that her eyes were somehow very emotional, very curious and this was definitely brought across well by Johansson. If I were to be critical, I'd question the likelihood of such a working class girl (at the time) looking quite as clean and almost porcelain faced as she does. There is a real sense of uncertainty and nervousness which is portrayed well by Johansson.I found myself feeling as if I was questioning likely the same things Griet was, wondering what would happen, with different family members making different requests of her. One of the real plus sides of this film is the stunning cinematography, by way of the various landscape shots. It almost has the feel of a moving, ainimated painting in parts. That aside, the plot pace is particularly slow and there is no real (or certainly no obvious) action present, nor is it particularly thrilling as such either. It is what I might refer to as a 'slow burner'. I imagine some people would feel pretty bored by it but I quite enjoyed it as I was interested in discovering the (if but fictional) depiction of how the famous painting may have come in to being.
Back to the cast and the other main character is, of course, Vermeer himself, who is played by Colin Firth. I couldn't help but wonder how accurate his portrayal may be, given that Vermeer was dutch and Firth is clearly very much English, with no attempted trace of a foreign accent. Other cast members include Tom Wilkinson as Vermeers patron, Van Ruijven, Judy Parfitt as Maria Thins, Cillian Murphy as Pieter and Joanna Scanlan as Tanneke. Scarlet Johanssons performance really made this film work, adding a surprisingly realistic feel to it, or so I felt anyway.
Content wise, this film contains some mild violence and one sex scene which isn't very graphic but is very much implied. There isn't any strong language or other content likely to offend, with this film carrying a 12 certificate to reflect this.
The soundtrack consists of classical pieces, mostly quite light, piano based pieces. It added to the atmosphere of certain scenes, making them seem perhaps more tense than they may have done otherwise. Although this film is pretty slow paced, it does become rather tense and somewhat dramatic in tone in the last quarter.
Overall I felt this was quite a slowly evocative film; tense and filled with mystery. I didn't feel very happy with Firths portrayal but otherwise I quite enjoyed watching it. I thought the ending was quite thought provoking.
If your a fan of period drama, or if your interested in seeing a fictional depiction of how the famous painting of the films name may have come to be, then I'd recommend it. I found it to be quite visually beautiful and with a decent performance by Scarlet Johansson as the main character, Griete. It seemed perhaps a bit unnecessarily slow paced and I can't say I was especially impressed by Colin Firths performance, finding him somehow unconvincing as Vermeer but overall I felt it was quite an emotive and evocative film, one which I enjoyed watching and would recommend on that basis.
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.
Webber's film offers painstaking reproductions of the town of Delft circa 1665 in all four seasons. That's just the problem: you feel every pain he took. Girl With a Pearl Earring is an art movie in the worst way.
Rating 7.5 This film benefits from repeat viewings. Anyone interested in Northern European art is likely to become more interested upon seeing this movie. The photography is sublime. One could say that's to be expected, but it literally embodies the aesthetic charge that Girl w/ a PE is essentially about. It's practically all that matters. Some critics have carped about the dramatic elements and arguably they might have a point. But Johanssen and Firth and supporting cast are marvelous and this is a period film to die for. And remember.
Vermeer is one of the most famous names in Flemish painting, and "Girl with Pearl Earring" is one of his most famous works. The whole film revolves around this painting and its model, developing a fictional story (based on a novel) in which the painter creates a sentimental connection with the model, without the film itself being clear about the nature of this relationship. We never realize if they are lovers or if they just create a friendship based on common interests. And this deliberate doubt is one of the elements that holds the public until the end of the film, despite being very stopped and having a rhythm that can leave some people bored.
The construction of the characters deserves a positive mention. The film allows us to understand the character and personality of almost everyone. Griet, the maid/model, is a poor young woman who needs that job to survive, and for whom beauty can really be a drag. However, this is not the reason why she is shy and withdrawn to the point of keeping her blond hair always hidden. This is a result of time and place: Dutch morality was rather austere and puritanical, thanks to the Protestant mentality. This can also be seen in the contained attitude of Vermeer. He is a discreet and hard-working man, who literally lives on the art and needs it to pay his bills, which sometimes leaves his family's financial situation in some trouble. For him, the support of rich patrons was essential, and the film clearly shows it.
The film is also interesting in technical issues, particularly in the scenarios and the way they recreated the time and place. We can, in several moments, see how important art was to build this environment. A lot of details in the scenery are clearly inspired or copied from Flemish paintings. But the art direction goes one step further, by embedding in the film the recreation of a series of famous paintings of this time. For example, there is a moment where the kitchens of the painter's house are shown and, for a brief moment, the image of the painting "The Milkmaid" is recreated.
This is a worth watching movie.
Apparemment, les films sur l'art et l'artiste sont difficiles à faire et réussissent rarement voire échouent totalement à rendre à la fois justice à l'art lui-même et à l'inspiration créatrice qui guide le créateur...
Sans doute parce qu'on ne peut les comprendre ni les décrire... Ici par exemple, malgré les efforts de Colin Firth, acteur des plus éminents, Vermeer n'a l'air que d'un tocard aux prises avec sa mégère de bonne femme. Et on a surtout l'impression qu'il peint la servante pour la sauter. Et rien d'autre.
Scarlett est certes lumineuse mais se borne à gober les mouches avec son air soit surpris soit ahuri... certes, on aime bien la voir en boniche mais tout de même. Cela dit, la reconstitution est soignée, semble un minimum adéquate (et réaliste) et la réalisation est bien léchée.
Bien qu'on ne s'y ennuie pas à proprement parler, le film sonne vraiment trop creux et ne sucite en fin de compte qu'un intérêt poli.