The Girl with the Pearl (movie)

The Girl with a Pearl Earring ( Girl with the Pearl Earring ) is a film britannico – Luxembourg directed by Peter Webber , released in 2003 .

This adaptation of the novel by Tracy Chevalier , The Girl with the Pearl , itself inspired by the painting of the same name of Johannes Vermeer .


The Girl with the pearl ofJohannes Vermeer painted around 1665 , exhibited at theMauritshuis in The Hague (Netherlands )

Delft , in the xvii th century , the golden age of painting Dutch .

To help her parents in misery, the young and charming Griet is hired as a maid in the house of the painter Johannes Vermeer . She takes care of the household and the six children of the master. The Vermeer family is struggling economically but does not want that to be known. Little by little, the mistress of the house developed a terrible jealousy towards Griet. And Cornelia, one of the girls, who hates Griet, tries to push the young maid to the end. Griet must be discreet and very obedient. Things get complicated when the painter notices it and discovers its sensitivity, its softness. He introduces it little by little into his universe. As their intimacy asserts itself, the scandal spreads throughout the city.

Technical sheet

  • Original title: Girl with the Pearl Earring
  • French title: La Jeune Fille à la pearl
  • Director: Peter Webber
  • Scenario: Olivia Hetreed , adapted from the novel The Girl with the Pearl of Tracy Chevalier
  • Sets: Ben Van OS
  • Costumes: Dien van Straalen
  • Photography: Eduardo Serra
  • Editing: Christina Schaffer
  • General Manager: Ambroise Gayet
  • Music: Alexandre Desplat
  • Distribution Company: Lions Gate Films (USA); Pathé (France)
  • Budget: 12 million $
  • Country: United Kingdom and Luxembourg
  • Language: English
  • Format: 35 mm – Color – 2.35: 1 – its Dolby Digital
  • Genre: drama , romance
  • Duration: 100 minutes
  • Release date :
    • World Premiere: at the Telluride Film Festival
    •  United States :
    •  France :


  • Scarlett Johansson (VF: Julia Vaidis-Bogard ) : Griet
  • Colin Firth (VF: Christian Gonon ) : Johannes Vermeer
  • Tom Wilkinson (VF: Jean-Yves Chatelais ) : Pieter van Ruijven
  • Cillian Murphy (VF: Franck Lorrain ) : Pieter
  • Judy Parfitt (VF: Tania Torrens ) : Maria Thins
  • Essie Davis (VF: Anne Rondeleux) : Catharina Vermeer
  • Joanna Scanlan (TV: Nanou Garcia ) : Tanneke
  • Alakina Mann (VF: Bibiana Guihamet ) : Cornelia
  • Chris McHallem (VF: Jean-Yves Chilot ) : Griet’s father
  • Gabrielle Reidy (VF: Frédérique Cantrel ) : the mother of Griet
  • Geoff Bell (VF: Gérard Serge ) : Peter the butcher
  • Anna Popplewell : Maertge
  • Essie Davis : Catharina
  • Anais Nepper (VF: Catherine Darles ) : Lisbeth
  • Melanie Meyfroid (VF: Catherine Darles ) : Aleydis
  • John McEnery : Apothecary
  • Carpentier Charlotte and Lola : Baby Franciscus
  • Nathan Nepper : Baby Johannes

Differences between the film and the novel

  • The film is deliberately more elliptical than the novel, more focused on the Griet-Vermeer relationship. Many events related to the personal life of Griet 1 , like its siblings, the accident of his father, marrying Pieter (just seen her wedding dress hanging on a hook in the final scene) and their children Jan and Frans 2 , are not discussed in the film.
  • In the novel, Vermeer’s friend Van Leeuwenhoek (played by David Morrissey , but cut in edit 3 ) warns Griet not to get too close to his master. He is absent in the film, and this warning is pronounced by Pieter.
  • In the book, the relationship between Griet and Tanneke is difficult, alternating between outright hostility and feigned indifference, mainly because of Tanneke’s jealousy with Griet, because of his proximity to the master of the house.
  • In the novel, Griet pierces both ears, at the command of Vermeer, while it is he who pierces the left lobe in the film, leaving intact the right.


The soundtrack was composed by Alexandre Desplat , who composed the music of The Queen among others , Beat My Heart , At the Crossroads of Worlds: The Golden Compass , The Strange History of Benjamin Button , Twilight, Chapter II: Temptation and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows .


2003 : Girl with the Original Pearl Earring Soundtrack



  • Camerimage 2003 : Bronze Frog for Eduardo Serra
  • Dinard British Film Festival 2003 :
    • Gold Hitchcock
    • Audience Award
  • San Sebastián Festival 2003 :
    • Best photography for Eduardo Serra
    • CICAE Award for Peter Webber
  • National Board of Review Awards 2003 : Special Recognition of Excellence in Achievement for Peter Webber
  • 2003 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards : Best Photography for Eduardo Serra
  • Central Ohio Movie Critics Association Awards 2004 : Best Photography for Eduardo Serra
  • Los Angeles Movie Critics Association Awards 2004 : Best Photography for Eduardo Serra
  • European Film Awards 2004 : Best Photography for Eduardo Serra
  • Eagles of Polish Cinema 2005 : Best European Film for Peter Webber
  • Sant Jordi Film Award 2005 : Best foreign actress for Scarlett Johansson (also for her role in Lost in Translation )


  • Camerimage 2003 : Bronze Frog for Eduardo Serra
  • Satellite Awards 2003 : Best Photography for Eduardo Serra
  • Art Directors Guild Awards 2004 : Best Sets in a Vintage or Fantastic Film for Ben van Os and Christina Schaffer
  • British Academy Film Awards 2004 :
    • Best British film
    • Best Actress for Scarlett Johansson
    • Best Supporting Actress for Judy Parfitt
    • Best screenplay suitable for Olivia Hetreed
    • Best photography for Eduardo Serra
    • Best sets for Ben van Os
    • Best costumes for Dien van Straalen
    • Best Makeup and Hairstyles for Jenny Shircore
    • Best film music for Alexandre Desplat
  • British Independent Film Awards 2004 :
    • Best film
    • Best Actress for Scarlett Johansson
    • Douglas Hickox Award for Peter Webber
  • Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 2004 : Best Photography for Eduardo Serra
  • Chlotrudis Awards 2005 : Best Photography for Eduardo Serra
  • David di Donatello 2004 : Best European film
  • 2004 Directors Guild of Great Britain Awards : Best Direction in a British Film for Peter Webber
  • International Film Festival Manila 2004 : Lino Brocka Award for Peter Webber
  • Golden Globes 2004 :
    • Best Actress in a Drama Movie for Scarlett Johansson
    • Best film music for Alexandre Desplat
  • Premios Goya 2005 : Best European film
  • London Film Critics Circle Awards 2004 : Actress of the Year for Scarlett Johansson
  • Online Film Critics Society Awards 2004 :
    • Best set for Ben van Os and Christina Schaffer
    • Best photography for Eduardo Serra
    • Best costumes for Dien van Straalen
  • 2004 Oscars :
    • Best set for Ben van Os and Cecile Heideman
    • Best photography for Eduardo Serra
    • Best costumes for Dien van Straalen
  • Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards 2004 :
    • Best Actress in a Leading Role for Scarlett Johansson
    • Best Artistic Direction for Ben van Os
  • European Film Awards 2004 :
    • Audience Award for Best Actor for Colin Firth
    • Best composer for Alexandre Desplat

Notes and references

  1. ↑ some have been the subject of scenes, but these were cut editing, as the arrival of Vermeer (initial scene) or scenes of the plague, and are presented as a bonus in the Pathé Distribution DVD 2009 Box Télérama Painters at the cinema DVD 2/7
  2. ↑ the novel continues for 10 more years
  3. ↑ (in) Zoe Williams, ” Up for the big league ”  [ archive ] on The , (accessed June 15, 2009 )

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