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Girl with a Pearl Earring

( 23 )

Overview

Peter Webber's drama Girl With a Pearl Earring, containing a Golden Globe-nominated performance by Scarlett Johansson, arrives on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The film's cinematography is one of its most appealing aspects, and this transfer does a loving job of replicating the cinematic experience. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. English and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include an ...
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Overview

Peter Webber's drama Girl With a Pearl Earring, containing a Golden Globe-nominated performance by Scarlett Johansson, arrives on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The film's cinematography is one of its most appealing aspects, and this transfer does a loving job of replicating the cinematic experience. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. English and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include an episode from the Sundance series Anatomy of a Scene concerning the making of the film, and trailers. This is a fine release from Lion's Gate Home Entertainment.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Anatomy of a Scene (Sundance Channel); Trailers
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Scarlett Johansson, the "It" girl of 2003, makes a surprisingly effective period ingénue in this exquisite motion picture, which spins an entrancing yarn around the classic 17th-century portrait familiar to any first-year art student. Seventeen-year-old Griet Johansson becomes a maid in the home of married Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer Colin Firth, mixing paints for the artist, among other chores. When she displays an amazing affinity for the work, she eventually becomes Vermeer's model and muse. Beautifully appointed, incisively directed, and brilliantly acted, Girl with a Pearl Earring actually improves upon its source material, the richly detailed novel by Tracy Chevalier, which is a rare feat indeed. Peter Webber's direction must be credited for the subtle, understated performances of his principal players, who convey deep emotions with the simplest of glances and expressions. Johansson works well with Firth, and the Oscar-nominated costar of Lost in Translation exhibits a maturity beyond her years. Tom Wilkinson also supplies a fine performance as the lecherous, middle-aged nobleman who takes a shine to the maid. The individual scenes are leisurely played for maximum effectiveness, but at 100 minutes the film seems just long enough to put the story across without any dilution of dramatic impact. Tastefully done, and entirely free of the florid melodrama that turns period romances into smarmy bodice-rippers, Girl with a Pearl Earring is a credit to all involved and offers further indication that Johansson could soon become one of our finest actresses.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/4/2004
  • UPC: 012236155225
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,900

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Colin Firth Johannes Vermeer
Scarlett Johansson Griet
Tom Wilkinson Van Ruijven
Judy Parfitt Maria Thins
Cillian Murphy Pieter
Essie Davis Catharina
Joanna Scanlan Tanneke
Alakina Mann Cornelia
Technical Credits
Peter Webber Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. New Maid [4:42]
2. House Rules [3:48]
3. Lady of the House [3:48]
4. Temperaments [3:35]
5. Labor [5:04]
6. Special Delivery [4:02]
7. Another Subject [3:02]
8. Meet the Parents [3:16]
9. Interesting Contraption [4:35]
10. Courting [3:01]
11. Eye for Beauty [4:41]
12. Color Mixer [3:41]
13. Changes [4:04]
14. Intimate Moment [3:55]
15. Delicate Work [4:15]
16. New Commission [4:30]
17. Web of Deceit [4:12]
18. Seeds of Hate [4:11]
19. Treacherous [4:29]
20. Dilemma [3:53]
21. Proposition [3:29]
22. Betrayal [4:24]
23. Memento [5:41]
24. End Credit [5:38]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Music Video
      Anatomy of the Scene
   Subtitles
      English: On
      English: Off
      Spanish: On
      Spanish: Off
   Lions Gate Home Entertainment
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Wonderful Film Not Just About Vermeer, but Artistic Inspiration

    Johannes Vermeer was a silent man. Being equipped with immense talent, brush and palette, there really was no need for words. Such philosophy is greatly dwelt upon in Peter Webber¿s adaptation of Tracy Chevalier¿s novel. The film is breathtaking alone in the fact that the production team, led by cinematographer Eduardo Serra, production designer Ben Van Os, and art director Christina Shaeffer, manages to capture Vermeer¿s filling, oil-based colors, and light into every scene. The story is exemplary as well. We are taken into a brief era in Vermeer¿s life in 17th century Venice. Much of the film¿s premise is true: Vermeer was a reticent and brilliant painter who attempted to balance his genius and deep-rooted, innate calling to art and solitude with the often overbearing demands of a bourgeoisie, Venetian society, as well as the malignant pressures posted by a sadistic commissioner, and the pressures of being the head of a massive household (when he died in 1675, he left behind his wife and 11 children). In 1665, however, he painted a mysterious masterpiece. It¿s mysterious because much scholarship has since been dedicated to uncovering the identity of the model who posed for it. It has been suggested that the subject is one of his daughters, although this theory is met today with much skepticism. And this is where the film spends most of its fictional focus: that of creating an imaginary story to help speculate on what we know as factual about Vermeer¿s life. Enter a young, beautiful servant girl, Grit (Scarlett Johansson), who through no fault of her own, finds that her classic beauty attracts Vermeer¿s sensibilities¿as a man and as an artist¿to such a degree that he has no choice but to capture her on oil and canvas. Vermeer (Colin Firth) spends a lot of time in this film standing quietly in the shadows and peeking around corners. There¿s great symbolism in many of these shots¿his body is often half-covered, half-exposed, representing the dichotomy he must have felt in his life¿that of being in perpetual conflict with his spiritual, artistic longings and the more human qualities of a man. Whereas Vermeer¿ silence is a result of his being reluctant to communicate with the external world, mostly due to artistic self-absorption, Griet similarly is cut off from humanity, but rather out of innocence, naivety, beauty, and the unfortunate side effect of being at the low end of a rather oppressive Venetian caste system where she has little voice outside of the disturbance her beauty stimulates in others. Together, the two characters find an unspoken solace, a type of kinetic energy that can only be conveyed through Vermeer¿s art. Indeed, one of the film¿s more touching moments comes when the artist reveals his portrait of her and Griet replies, ¿You¿ve seen into me.¿ Another memorable moment, if not altogether breathtaking, comes when Vermeer is instructing Griet in how to hold her face at the proper angle in order to catch the appropriate reflection of light on her mouth, and also when he is instructing her in how to mix his paints and their hands, for a split second, brush together. It is in such moments that Firth brilliantly conveys the tormenting dissonance present in a man not in whose base desires are overshadowing his artistic being, but rather the opposite¿as a virtuoso experiencing a rare moment of temporary carnal pleasure. All philosophy aside, is the film any good? I¿d say it¿s extraordinary, although if you¿re not one to gravitate toward the biography of an artist, this may not be the film for you. However, I do believe that the human story element her is valuable, entertaining, and worthwhile.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The book and movie are not the same.

    The book goes into more detail. I still liked the movie. I bought the movie because I had read the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    • A Wonderful Film Not Just About Vermeer, But Artistic Inspiration

    Johannes Vermeer was a silent man. Being equipped with immense talent, brush and palette, there really was no need for words. Such philosophy is greatly dwelt upon in Peter Webber’s adaptation of Tracy Chevalier’s novel. The film is breathtaking alone in the fact that the production team, led by cinematographer Eduardo Serra, production designer Ben Van Os, and art director Christina Shaeffer, manages to capture Vermeer’s filling, oil-based colors, and light into every scene. The story is exemplary as well. We are taken into a brief era in Vermeer’s life in 17th century Delft. Much of the film’s premise is true: Vermeer was a reticent and brilliant painter who attempted to balance his genius and deep-rooted, innate calling to art and solitude with the often overbearing demands of a bourgeoisie, Delft society, as well as the malignant pressures posted by a sadistic commissioner, and the pressures of being the head of a massive household (when he died in 1675, he left behind his wife and 11 children). In 1665, however, he painted a mysterious masterpiece. It’s mysterious because much scholarship has since been dedicated to uncovering the identity of the model who posed for it. It has been suggested that the subject is one of his daughters, although this theory is met today with much skepticism. And this is where the film spends most of its fictional focus: that of creating an imaginary story to help speculate on what we know as factual about Vermeer’s life. Enter a young, beautiful servant girl, Grit (Scarlett Johansson), who through no fault of her own, finds that her classic beauty attracts Vermeer’s sensibilities—as a man and as an artist—to such a degree that he has no choice but to capture her on oil and canvas. Vermeer (Colin Firth) spends a lot of time in this film standing quietly in the shadows and peeking around corners. There’s great symbolism in many of these shots—his body is often half-covered, half-exposed, representing the dichotomy he must have felt in his life—that of being in perpetual conflict with his spiritual, artistic longings and the more human qualities of a man. Whereas Vermeer’ silence is a result of his being reluctant to communicate with the external world, mostly due to artistic self-absorption, Griet similarly is cut off from humanity, but rather out of innocence, naivety, beauty, and the unfortunate side effect of being at the low end of a rather oppressive caste-like social system where she has little voice outside of the disturbance her beauty stimulates in others. Together, the two characters find an unspoken solace, a type of kinetic energy that can only be conveyed through Vermeer’s art. Indeed, one of the film’s more touching moments comes when the artist reveals his portrait of her and Griet replies, “You’ve seen into me.” Another memorable moment, if not altogether breathtaking, comes when Vermeer is instructing Griet in how to hold her face at the proper angle in order to catch the appropriate reflection of light on her mouth, and also when he is instructing her in how to mix his paints and their hands, for a split second, brush together. It is in such moments that Firth brilliantly conveys the tormenting dissonance present in a man not in whose base desires are overshadowing his artistic being, but rather the opposite—as a virtuoso experiencing a rare moment of temporary carnal pleasure. All philosophy aside, is the film any good? I’d say it’s extraordinary, although if you’re not one to gravitate toward the biography of an artist, this may not be the film for you. However, I do believe that there is a universal human story element here that everyone will find valuable, entertaining and worthwhile.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Girl With a Pearl Earring

    Based on the book of the same name we meet Griet who goes to work as a maid for a painter to help her family and thus has an obsesser, a certain boy who she tries to find if she loves him or not and a "relationship" with the painter that is considered scandalous.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Never, ever as good as the book

    When I first watched the movie, I had high expectations and I was hoping that the movie followed the novel as best as it could. But after seeing the movie I was completly disappointed. The movie cuts out on so many key elements and even changes the ending of the movie. It was a really big let down but I do have to recommend the book which is AMAZING. The novel is so much more in-depth and personal than this disapointing movie will ever be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An admirer of Vermeer

    If you have read the book, you will have a greater understanding of the movie. I thought the movie was beautifully filmed. And the actors well chosen for their characters. But as with any movie made from a book, a certain amount is eliminated for production. Mr. James-Jason Gantt's review is also beautifully written, so read his review for a greater understanding of Vermeer and the movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie for smart people

    this movie is a great movie for people that like a movie with substance and reality. Someone that is use to the shallow movies with nothing to offer, would think it sucked ... but the life of a young girl of that period and the way she viewed life with a man of great talent with no sexual content is remarkable. Great scenery as well ... and also after reading the book on Johannes Vermeer's painting and seeing the origionals makes this a acurate and moving movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding Movie

    How refreshing to have a movie like this to watch. It is quiet, subtle and refined. There are no bombs blowing up or car crashes. Every shot is as beautiful as it's leading lady. In spite of her common life, she becomes an inspiration and immortal through the portrait, not only because she is beautiful, but because she is intelligent and understands what art is truly all about. It is as refreshing as lying in the grass on a drowsy summer day without a care in the world. A movie that makes you feel good, what more could you ask.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Read The Book First!

    all of my friends saw the movie with me, and they thought it sucked. i thoguht it was Great, so when i kicked them out I watched it again. it really is a pretty good movie, but as i watched it i realized that the reason they probably thought it was bad was because, unless you have read the book by tracy chevalier, you really don't understand most of the movie, the characters, their relationships, or anything else. this, i think, is where they made a big mistake. who wants to watch a movie they can't really get caught up and understand? but, again, i enjoyed the movie, and i recomend it to everyone who has read the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    inspiring, informative

    This film was so intriguing I had to get the book, and two others by Tracy C. incredible writing translated to the screen in satisfying visual. the story teases, assuming you have read the book or know Dutch painting? stunning interpretation of character by a stellar cast. really great talent on all levels. Very much a keeper, to be seen and enjoyed many times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent Film

    This movie is one of the best films I've seen in a long while. After seeing it I'm interesting in reading the book. I'd reccomend it to anyone who has ever looked at an old painting and thought up a story of its creation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    this movie sucked!!!!

    If you want to fall asleep than buy this movie. Otherwise leave it on the shelf.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Evocative film you will want to see over and over...

    A beautiful, artistic film that captures the era and the artist. Best to read the book first, since the film leaves out detail in order to maintain a vision.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Depicting most inner feeling by painting.

    Dorment desir, never felt befor,but encounter with person and unexpected time in our life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautifully filmed, wonderful story

    I went to see this because I always admired Vermeer's paintings, but the story and the acting are amazing. There's a fantastic intensity in the characters of both Griet and Vermeer. Despite the wonderful acting, one of the things I enjoyed most in this film was the cinematography. The colors, lighting, and shadows are astonishing replications of Vermeer's work. Do yourself a favor and look at a book of his paintings. It really brings the movie to life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    slightly disappointing

    It seemed to me that they spent far too much time on art direction and costuming. Oh, I do not doubt that they recreated a 17th century home in perfect detail, but something about the film was lacking. I ate up the book, and really enjoyed the latest title by Tracy Chevaliar - Lady and the Unicorn. I supposed I was disappointed with the characterization and plot. In my opinion, Colin Firth should be in EVERY movie there is. His character was quiet in the book, and related well in the movie. All of the acting was great, except for the bratty litle girl (I forgot her name, Coraline, I think) and Griet herself. I had been looking forward to renting and watching this movie a few times before I had to return it, and I was a little disappointed that it didn't catch me at all. Oh well, at least I'll see Colin in the next Bridget Jones.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews