Girl With A Pearl Earring


(out of 5)

A young Dutch girl () from an impoverished family is sent to work as a maid in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer in 17th century Holland. She is immediately treated with ignorance from the lady of the house () and cruelty from one of the painter’s children () until she meets the man () himself. He immediately sees a brightness in her and begins to share with her the various ins and outs of painting, inviting her to help mix colours and teaching her about the creation of images on the canvas. Johansson eventually catches the eye of Vermeer’s wealthy patron (), who commissions the artist to feature her in one of his most famous works, the masterpiece of the title. Inspired by the possibility that the woman in Vermeer’s painting really was one of his servants (some historians disagree), this fictional story uses factual characters to tell a brilliantly simple tale of artistic inspiration and passionate awakening. Johansson is perfectly cast as the young woman, a wide-eyed and innocent girl whose mind is brought to full consciousness by the new world of creation that she sees before her. The film’s story is a slim one, methodical and slow in its delivery, but it is its spareness that makes it so cherishable, a tiny glimpse behind one of the art world’s most beloved treasures. The period is recreated to absolute perfection, and Eduardo Serra’s photography is so gorgeously lit that every single shot looks like a painting.

United Kingdom/Luxembourg, 2003

Directed by 

Screenplay by , based on the novel by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  TIFF 2003

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,, , , ,

Academy Award Nominations
Best Art Direction (art direction: Ben Van Os; set decoration: Cecile Heideman)
Best Cinematography (Eduardo Serra)
Best Costume Design (Dien van Straalen)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Scarlett Johansson)
Best Original Score-Motion Picture (Alexandre Desplat)

Los Angeles Film Critics Awards
Best Cinematography (Eduardo Serra)
New Generation Award (Scarlett Johansson)

National Board Of Review Award
Special Recognition, for excellence in filmmaking

British Academy Award Nominations
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Scarlett Johansson)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Judy Parfitt)
Best Screenplay – Adapted
Best Cinematography
Best Costume Design
Best Production Design
Best Make Up/Hair
Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film
Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music
Carl Foreman Award For The Most Promising Newcomer (Peter Webber)

European Film Award
Best European Cinematographer

Best European Composer
Audience Award-Best European Actor (Colin Firth)

Goya Award Nomination
Best European Film

Chicago Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Cinematography




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