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Year: 2003
USA: Lions Gate Films
UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Wilkinson, Judy Parfitt, Cillian Murphy, Essie Davis, Joanna Scanlan, Alakina Mann, Chris McHallem, Gabrielle Reidy, Anna Popplewell, David Morrissey, Ana´s Nepper, Nathan Nepper, Christelle Bulckaen, Claire Johnston, Leslie Woodhall
Director: Peter Webber
Countries: UK / Luxembourg
USA: 103 mins
UK: 100 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for some sexual content
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate sex references and mild violence
USA Release Date: 12 December 2003 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 16 January 2004


GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING unravels the mystery behind one of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer's greatest and most enigmatic paintings. It was adapted by screenwriter Olivia Hetreed from the much-loved and best-selling novel by Tracy Chevalier. The film stars Colin Firth as Vermeer, Scarlett Johansson as Griet and Tom Wilkinson as van Ruijven and marks the feature film debut of director Peter Webber.

Delft, Holland, 1665. After her father is blinded in a kiln explosion, seventeen year-old Griet must work to support her family. She becomes a maid in the house of Johannes Vermeer and gradually attracts the master painter's attention. Though worlds apart in upbringing, education and social standing, Vermeer recognises Griet's intuitive understanding of colour and light and slowly draws her into the mysterious world of his paintings.

Vermeer is a perfectionist, often taking months to finish a painting. His shrewd mother-in-law, Maria Thins, struggles to maintain the family's lavish lifestyle on the income from his painstakingly meagre output. Seeing that Griet inspires Vermeer, she takes the dangerous decision to allow their clandestine relationship to develop.

Plunged into a chaotic Catholic household run by Vermeer's volatile wife Catharina, surrounded by an ever-increasing brood of children, Griet is increasingly at risk of exposure or worse. Twelve-year-old Cornelia, a mischievous girl who sees more than she should, quickly grows jealous and suspicious of Griet and is determined to cause trouble.

Alone and unprotected, Griet also contends with the attentions of Pieter, a local butcher boy, and Vermeer's patron, the wealthy and lascivious Master van Ruijven, who is frustrated that his money does not buy him control over the artist. While Griet falls increasingly under Vermeer's spell, she cannot be sure of his feelings for her.

The Machiavellian van Ruijven, sensing the intimacy between master and maid, gleefully contrives a commission for Vermeer to paint Griet alone. The result will be one of the greatest paintings ever created, but at what cost to Griet?


DVD Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (Widescreen 16x9)
DVD Sound Quality: 5.1 Dolby
DVD Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired

DVD Features:

Director's Commentary
Writer's Commentary
Making Of Featurette
Deleted Scenes (with Director's Commentary)
The Vermeer's Visit
I Didn't Ask for Blue
Plague 1
So Soon
Plague 2
Plague 3
As I First Saw You
Anatomy of a Scene
UK Theatrical Trailer

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