This fictionalised version of characters and events surrounding the creation of Vermeer’s masterpiece is a cinematographer’s wet dream come true.
To be honest, I find many period dramas a load of overly melodramatic, hand-wringing nonsense, but Girl With A Pearl Earring was quite enchanting. It looks absolutely fantastic, the sense of period excellent and the photography beautifully apes the lush colours and light and shade of the Dutch masters with direction that is not afraid to linger on these beautiful images for just the right length of time. Scarlett Johansson’s ethereal beauty is not only visually perfect for the part, but her understated performance fits in perfectly with the subtle story of kindred spirits experiencing unrequited passion. It brings not only history to life, but the painting itself and the final shot of the work in question sent a shiver down my spine.
If you find this reaction inexplicable then this film is probably not for you.