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Verified Purchase Wow. This minute film, loooking for three Oscars and two Golden Globes inis one of the most exquisitely lensed art house movies I've ever seen.
Every frame looks like a masterpiece come to life, full of vivid colors and grl imagery. The music is also excellent, adding to the mystery of a painting the titular "Girl With a Pearl Earring" that has come to rival the Mona Lisa in its powerful mystique. Set in s Holland, the film is based on an historical novel speculating about the origins of this work by Johannes Vermeer.
Despite the racy-looking cover art, the movie is not a sexualized or romantic tale, and there are no intense or naughty scenes. Rather, loojing much in the style of Martin Scorcese's "The Age of Innocence," one must infer the true emotions and thoughts of this film's characters from a series of masterfully staged interactions. The story is simple.
In a Venice-style city of Holland, a girl from a financially strapped Protestant family goes to work as a maid for the household of Catholic painter Johannes Vermeer. The girl -- named Griet -- becomes the pawn in the ongoing business arrangements between Vermeer's patron fod mother-in-law, who manages the household.
Vermeer's insecure wife and vindictive daughter, a local butcher in love with Griet, and various other servants play a role in this Downtown Abbey-style household. After Vermeer discovers a soulmate in Griet, she begins mixing his paints for him and eventually poses for the titular painting of this film, to the consternation of Vermeer's artistically tone-deaf spouse.
But the journey here is far more intriguing than the destination, as we slowly become immersed in the mysterious interactions of this carefully maintained family. As a film on the passions and creative process behind great works Wife want casual sex Dixmoor art, this movie is one of my favorites alongside "The Agony and the Ecstasy" with Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison.
Unlike that other film, this one tells its story more through visuals than through dialogue, inviting the viewer to see things through the eyes of an artist rather than through the lens of a historical biographer.
It's a brilliant, moving, and historically rich 17th century Holland really feels like a real place here human drama. Those who find great art boring may also find this film a bit dull and slow-moving, as it's definitely not the painter's equivalent of "Amadeus," but those who appreciate the dynamics of human relationships and their impact on art will love it.
I highly recommend it. Even if you don't like art house films, give this one a shot and see if you like it.