Girl With a Pearl Earring


Girl With a Pearl Earring

Critics Consensus

Visually arresting, but the story could be told with a bit more energy.



Total Count: 176


Audience Score

User Ratings: 62,684
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Movie Info

A speculative account of the life of Griet, a 16-year-old girl who appears in Johannes Vermeer's painting of the same title. Set in 17th century Holland, Griet is employed by Vermeer as a housemaid to care for his six children, his jealous pregnant wife and his uncommunicative mother-in-law. Tensions arise when Vermeer's wife suspects intimacy between her husband and the girl--and then climax, when the wife discovers that Griet borrowed her precious pearl earrings to sit for the now famous portrait.


Colin Firth
as Johannes Vermeer
Tom Wilkinson
as Van Ruijven
Judy Parfitt
as Maria Thins
Essie Davis
as Catharina
Alakina Mann
as Cornelia
Chris McHallem
as Griet's Father
Gabrielle Reidy
as Griet's Mother
Nathan Nepper
as Johannes
Lola Carpenter
as Baby Franciscus
Charlotte Carpenter
as Baby Franciscus
Olivia Chauveau
as Baby Franciscus
Geoff Bell
as Paul The Butcher
Virginie Colin
as Emilie Van Ruijven
Sarah Drews
as Van Ruijven's Daughter
John McEnery
as Apothecary
Claire Johnston
as White-Haired Woman
Marc Maes
as Old Gentleman
Dustin James
as Servant No.1
Joe Reavis
as Servant No.2
Martin Serene
as Servant No.3
Chris Kelly
as Gay Blade
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News & Interviews for Girl With a Pearl Earring

Critic Reviews for Girl With a Pearl Earring

All Critics (176) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (127) | Rotten (49)

  • Little happens -- save for several family arguments and the artist worrying about money and the integrity of his ambition -- yet it is unforgettable, and, shot to look like a moving Vermeer painting, effortlessly profound.

    Dec 13, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Working from an intelligent, understated screenplay by Olivia Hetreed, director Peter Webber (an acclaimed documentarian) proceeds with a stunning assurance.

    Jan 30, 2004 | Rating: 5/5
  • Lavish attention to historical detail, the thorough immersion in this unusual world and Johansson's impressive performance make Girl With a Pearl Earring memorable but not a masterpiece.

    Jan 30, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A feast for the eyes.

    Jan 29, 2004 | Rating: 4/5
  • A virtual ricochet-fest of eyeball action. Those looks, those glares, those gapes, those gawks!

    Jan 22, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • A rare and elegant film bathed in the kind of soft, delicate light that can build unexpectedly to feelings of both anxiety and bliss.

    Jan 21, 2004 | Full Review…

    Rex Reed

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Girl With a Pearl Earring

  • Jul 20, 2013
    An intriguing drama centered on the strong sexual tension between Johannes Vermeer and a woman who would supposedly become the subject of his most famous painting - but even if visually stunning, the result could have been a bit more involving.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2013
    Girl With a Pearl Earring is a historical drama that takes a fascinating look at art culture. Based on a novel, the film follows a young peasant maid who goes to work for an artisan and ends up becoming a muse that inspires his greatest work. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson, and Cillian Murphy, the cast is fairly strong. However, the script that they have to work with is rather poor and doesn't develop the characters very well. The film also lacks passion and spirit, which is key to a story about artistry. Though the subject is interesting, Girl With a Pearl Earring is underwhelming and mundane.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 03, 2012
    The Girl With a Pearl Earring, a fictionalized account of the painting by the same name, is made with great care. The technical aspects of the film are realized with true effect, being beautifully shot and directed. It's the visual aspects of the film that really sustain the occasionally dull narrative. The story itself is too thin, not enough happens with the characters that allows the audience to better appreciate their actions and motivations, it's too subdued. However, those deficiencies are ultimately made up for by the great performances of a young Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth, both of whom had undeniable chemistry. 3.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2012
    A great film about art and love. Scarlett Johansson was perfect in this role. The film could have been better if they made it more complex and expanded the run time. It was a little to short. There where many ways that they could have made it better. The pace was nice and gratifying. The plot itself could have been better by adding better plot build up. The good things about this film are the acting and writing. The acting was really good especially towards the end when they start arguing. So much emotion. Other films should have more emotion like this one. The whole art thing was also a treat. If your an artist then there is no reason not to like this. The costume design was also really good. It was like I was actually there back then. The significance of the earrings at the end was very well thought out. I heard that there is a book so I might read it if I can get my hands on it. Also the make up they used on Scarlett Johansson was something different. She didn't look like herself.
    Eduardo T Super Reviewer

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