The Delft area of Holland, 1665: 17 year-old Griet is sent to work as a servant in the troubled household of local artist Johannes Vermeer. Gradually he finds the new maid something of a muse and trouble brews as Vermeers growing feelings for Griet becom
Tracy Chevalier's novel, from which Girl With A Pearl Earring is adapted, attempts to solve the mystery that surrounds Vermeer's painting of the same name. Although no-one is sure of the identity of the beautiful girl who inspired the artist to produce one of the world's greatest paintings, Chevalier cobbled together a series of clues and created a bestselling novel.
Director Webber sticks firmly to the book and, in doing so, has produced a captivating film whose stunning use of set design and colour recreates Vermeer's sense of space and reality in almost every shot.
Firth's Vermeer is distant and untouchable, making his attraction to Griet all the more powerful. Johansson, meanwhile, shows a remarkable resemblance to the servant girl in the picture, and deserves praise for her ability to keep Griet simple and naturally beautiful.
Very good - one of the rare book adaptations that actually benefits from a visual makeover.