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 focuses 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), 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
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