12 certificateGirl with a Pearl Earring is a Film programme that first aired in 2003 and has been classified a 12 certificate.

Girl with a Pearl Earring is a 3 star programme

Image for the Film programme "Girl with a Pearl Earring"
Picture: Lions Gate Films

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Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

Directed by
Peter Webber

This powerful Oscar-nominated period drama, directed by Peter Webber, is based on the novel by Tracy Chevalier and tells the fictional story behind Vermeer's famous, mysterious painting, Girl With a Pearl Earring.

Delft, Holland, 1665. After her father, a tile painter, is blinded in a kiln explosion, 17-year-old Griet (Scarlett Johansson) must work to support her family. She becomes a maid in the house of Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth) 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 (Judy Parfitt), 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 (Essie Davis), surrounded by an ever-increasing brood of children, Griet is increasingly at risk of exposure or worse.

Twelve-year-old Cornelia (Alakina Mann), a mischevious 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 (Cillian Murphy), a local butcher boy, and Vermeer's patron, the wealthy and lascivious Master van Ruijven (Tom Wilkinson), 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?

Written by ,

Genre: Film

Running Time: 105 minutes (approx)

Production Year: 2003

3/5 Stars

Classification: 12 Certificate

Production Country: USA/UK/Luxembourg

Filmed in Colour


Image for Colin FirthColin Firth...Johannes Vermeer
Image for Scarlett JohanssonScarlett Johansson...Griet
Image for Tom WilkinsonTom Wilkinson...Van Ruijven
Image for Judy ParfittJudy Parfitt...Maria Thins
Image for Cillian MurphyCillian Murphy...Pieter
Essie Davis...Catharina Vermeer
Alakina Mann...Cornelia Vermeer
Image for Joanna ScanlanJoanna Scanlan...Tanneke
Chris McHallem...Griet's Father
Gabrielle Reidy...Griet's Mother
Rollo Weeks...Frans
Image for Anna PopplewellAnna Popplewell...Maertge
Anaïs Nepper...Lisbeth
Melanie Meyfroid...Aleydis
Nathan Nepper...Johannes
Lola Carpenter...Baby Franciscus
Charlotte Carpenter...Baby Franciscus
Olivia Chauveau...Baby Franciscus
Geoff Bell...Paul the Butcher
Virginie Colin...Emilie Van Ruijven