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Girl with a Pearl Earring 12 rating

Colin Firth and Scarlet Johansson star in the fictionalised romance about the Dutch master Vermeer and his attraction to the subject of his famous painting.

Period drama 2003 96 mins

Director: Peter Webber


Colin Firth is the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer with Scarlet Johansson as the assistant who becomes his model, muse and lover in this fictionalised account of the creation of the titular painting.

Based on Tracy Chevalier’s best-selling novel, Peter Webber’s film fills the backstory behind the Girl’s famous, ambiguous over-the-shoulder glance, imagining her as the painter’s assistant Griet who would become the object of Vermeer’s fixation and the centre of tumultuous love-triangle. Mounted with no little artistry itself, Girl with a Pearl Earring is a studied, sedate and sumptuously designed drama which modestly conceals some serious themes around sex and power behind its lighter, period charms. Nominated for ten Baftas, two Oscars and three Golden Globes, the film is also a fascinating examination into the intricate detail behind the artistic process.