Girl With a Pearl Earring
Director: Peter Webber
Cast: Scarlett Johansson (Griet), Colin Firth (Vermeer) Tom Wilkinson (Pieter Van Ruivjen), Judy Parfitt (Maria Thins), Cillian Murphy (Pieter), Essie Davis (Catarina), Joanna Scanlan (Tanneke)
Script: Olivia Heetreed
Length: 1 hr. 40 min
Rated: PG-13 (For a rape scene and a sex scene in the alley)
Faithful Scale: 43%
Question to critics: Why did this movie get good reviews? Because, the only thing I liked about this movie, is the cinematography and Scarlett Johansson. I mean, I'm giving these people who made this movie kudos for casting the person that look exactly like the model does in the painting. Plus, she has such an expressive face, that gives the dull story a boost and makes the movie bearable. You look at her on screen and you immediately know what she's thinking, it takes a real actress to do that. She's perfect for this role, that's for sure. And it's also worth to see it just for the cinematography. It's a beautifully shot film, every shot looks like a painting. But here, it's just dull, dull stuff, like the book.
To start off, I was annoyed by Colin Firth (Vermeer.) He's basically reduced to a series of reation shots (which are wooden.) Come on dude! Are you sad? Are you happy? Are you what? During the whole movie he never cracked a smile, never showed anything unless if you count akwardness as an emotion. I understand that you're supposed to be mysterious but there are better ways to BE mysterious than just sitting there with a frown on your face. Such a shame, Colin Firth is usually a great actor.
It was also pretty ridiculous how freakishly panicked Catarina was. Which leads me to this point: I understand that she's supposed to be hysterical, but Judy Parfitt REALLY over did it. In the book, she actually seemed quiet compared to the Catarina in the movie. Parfitt's performance quite bothered me, she didn't scary or intimidating, she just plays it like someone who was just TRYING to be scary and intimidating.
And this script. Okay, I had the same problem like this in the novel. Vermeer painted Tanneke, right? So, why is Griet supposed to hide the fact that she's being painted? After all, Van Ruijven knows (Tom Wilkinson does an excellent job as a villain) and that's even more scary, no one seems to be making a big deal about it. I mean, am I an idiot? There are scenes filled with lines like this:
Griet: [enters the room, where Maria Thins and Catharina sit quietly by the fireplace, and curtsies]
Griet: Madam, shall I wash the windows?
Catharina: [Scoffs] You don't need to ask me about such matters.
Griet: It's just...it may change the light.
Those same stuffy lines of dialogue goes on for most of the movie. Plus, I felt that Pieter was almost an afterthought, which seems to me, one of the most important moments in the book. Sadly, you can SKIP IT. Even though the film had so much potential, it just went sliding down-hill after a few minutes.