Brush with Fate (2003)





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Brush with Fate Photos

Movie Info

Susan Vreeland's novel The Girl in Hyacinthn Blue was the source for this made-for-TV drama. Utilizing a complex flashback-within-flashback structure, the film chronicles the 300-year history of a lost painting said to have been created by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. The story is framed by the present day narrative of an eccentric history teacher (Glenn Close) who has the inside track on the number of lives profoundly altered, for both good and ill, by the elusive painting. The teacher's tale interconnects individual stories of tragedy, romance, success, failure and even the Holocaust. Even the narrator herself has a personal and emotional stake in the supposed Vermeer. Advertised as the most expensive and ambitious project ever undertaken during the 52-year history of television's Hallmark Hall of Fame anthology series, Brush With Fate debuted February 2, 2003, on CBS.
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Inc.


Glenn Close
as Cornelia Englebrecht
Thomas Gibson
as Richard
Phyllida Law
as Maria Thins
Patrick Bergin
as Headmaster
Kieran Bew
as Adrian
Jan Decleir
as Old Laurens
Patrick Bergen
as Headmaster
Peter Paul Muller
as Karl Englebrecht
Roeland Radier
as Johannes Vermeer
Thekla Reuten
as Saskia
Roef Ragas
as Stjin
Laurien Van Den Broeck
as Magdalena Vermeer
Carly Wijs
as Faculty Woman
Horace Cohen
as Faculty Man
Katja Herbers
as Tenneke
Caro Lenssen
as Joanna
Shona Pratt
as Maria
Loes Wouterson
as Saskia's Mom
Edward Kelsey
as Amsterdam Shopkeeper
Lou Landré
as Groningen Shopkeeper
Krijnter Braak
as De Koonig
Huib Broos
as Herbert
Lukas Dijkens
as Koopsman
Roelant Radier
as Johannes Vermeer
Roos Ouwehand
as Catherine Vermeer
Wytzede Hann
as Francis Vermeer
Alon Voet
as Henry Vermeer
Hermann Weiskopf
as Young Karl Englebrec
Ad Knippels
as Delft Baker
Lisa Kreuzer
as Old Magdalena
Marcel Jonker
as Willem
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Critic Reviews for Brush with Fate

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Audience Reviews for Brush with Fate


The title: Brush with Fate is a pretty awful title, trying to use the cliche 'a brush with fate' to capture this film's essense. Based from a novel The Girl in Hyacinth Blue had more creativity in its title than simply Brush with Fate. The film starts present day with an newly hired art teacher who is introduced to the painting by a fellow teacher and then goes back in history to the various owners of the picture all the way back to the Dutch painter himself as he sets up the scene for painting in his studio. Then we come back to the modern era during WWII where the picture was stolen by the Germans, one officer in particular. Then we come forward to present day and his daughter who is obscessed by the painting and also caring for her officer dad who is pretty bad off. She and her dad vacate their residence for some reason, almost burns the painting. But we are left with the art teacher wondering about it all. Filled with lots of Danish history, costuming with period scenes in Holland. A series of flashbacks concerning all the people who owned the painting but gave it up for various reasons. It almost becomes a curse of sorts. There is considerable debate about the authenticity of the painting. Intriguing, sensitive rendering of what the painting meant to so many owners. As this is another of my infamous Hallmark Hall of Fame reviews, it is for deep thoughts drama lovers, not action thriller types.

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