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"GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING"
(2003) (Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Extreme Moderate None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Moderate Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A young 17th century maid becomes intrigued by and then inspires a painter and his work.
PLOT:
It's Delft, Holland in the mid-17th century and 17-year-old Griet (SCARLETT JOHANSSON) has been sent by her parents (CHRIS MCHALLEM and GABRIELLE REIDY) to work as a maid to support their family. She ends up in the home of Johannes Vermeer (COLIN FIRTH), a master painter who mostly works for his wealthy patron, Van Ruijven (TOM WILKINSON).

Despite the constant work, things aren't peachy keen there. Johannes' wife, Catharina (ESSIE DAVIS), is constantly pregnant and jealous of her husband's work, while her mother, Maria Thins (JUDY PARFITT), keeps a tight fist on the family's purse strings. And her granddaughter, Cornelia (ALAKINA MANN), isn't pleased with Griet's arrival.

Nevertheless, and with the aid of fellow maid Tanneke (JOANNA SCANLAN), the young woman learns about her duties that include cleaning Johannes' studio. It's there that she becomes mesmerized by his work and he for her obvious eye for art. That doesn't sit well with Catharina. Despite the local butcher's son, Pieter (CILLIAN MURPHY), being sweet on Griet, Catharina senses something between her and Johannes.

From that point on, and as Johannes finds inspiration in Griet, their working together and his painting of her soon drives a wedge into the family that threatens to spell disaster.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, costume dramas or Vermeer and his work, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • COLIN FIRTH plays 17th century painter Johannes Vermeer who takes a liking to Griet due to her interest in and understanding of his work. A moody artist, he flirts with her a bit, but nothing ultimately comes of that.
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON plays a teenager who takes a job at his home as a maid to support her family. She becomes intrigued by the painter's work, fools around with Pieter, and must avoid the lecherous advances of Van Ruijven.
  • TOM WILKINSON plays Vermeer's wealthy patron, a socialite who enjoys drink as much as young women, despite being married. He ends up turning into a lecherous jerk as he tries to rape Griet.
  • JUDY PARFITT plays Vermeer's tight-fisted mother-in-law who controls the family purse strings.
  • CILLIAN MURPHY plays the local butcher's son who's sweet on Griet and briefly fools around with her.
  • ESSIE DAVIS plays Vermeer's near constantly pregnant wife who's jealous of his work and apparent attraction to Griet.
  • JOANNA SCANLAN plays the family's maid who shows Griet the ropes.
  • ALAKINA MANN plays Catharina's daughter who has it out for Griet and tries to undermine her.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. A young couple is briefly seen fooling around while standing (kissing, heavy breathing, and partial undressing) and sex is implied. Some sensual moments between men and women are also present, as is some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes including a wealthy man who tries to rape a young woman but is interrupted. Various characters drink or smoke, while some tense family material is present in the form of parents arguing within earshot of their kids. Meanwhile, a few scenes have some bloody material, including the sight of animals and related parts at a butcher stand.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • When Van Ruijven hears of a birth party, he says that he won't turn out for small beer and biscuits.
  • We see wine in a glass in a painting.
  • Tanneke talks about Van Ruijven pouring wine into a young woman (seen in a painting), that her dress didn't stay on long and that she was carrying his baby before the paint was dry.
  • Various people have wine with dinner, including Van Ruijven who has several glasses of it.
  • People have wine with a meal.
  • Van Ruijven downs some wine and then pours himself more.
  • Johannes holds a glass of wine.
  • Johannes holds some wine.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a pub.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Griet's father has what appear to be red and/or bloody lesions on his hand and face.
  • We see severed pig heads and other dead animals and meat (some of which is bloody) in a butcher's market.
  • We see bruises on Griet's neck from where Van Ruijven grabbed her.
  • Johannes sterilizes a needle or similar object in a candle flame and then pierces Griet's ear with it. That's seen from a distance with a little bit of resultant blood (which might be a little much for those easily made queasy by such sights).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Griet's mother tells her about (Johannes's family) to "keep clear of their Catholic prayers."
  • Catharina tells Griet, "Don't speak until spoken to."
  • Van Ruijven comments on a painting of his wife, stating that it makes it look like she's almost thinking.
  • Johannes's daughter purposefully wipes mud on hanging sheets that Griet has just washed. In turn, Griet slaps the girl on the face. Griet then sees that the daughter has gone through her belongings and has broken the treasured tile given to Griet by her father. Johannes's daughter later has more bad attitudes toward Griet.
  • Johannes occasionally acts in a subdued flirtatious way toward Griet, his employee.
  • Van Ruijven suddenly grabs Griet in a lecherous way (asking, "Can I have her?") when he states that he wants her in a painting with him.
  • People stare and gossip (not heard) about Griet after they hear that she's to be in a painting with Van Ruijven (knowing his reputation and past with another young woman in a painting).
  • Van Ruijven tells Catharina that her husband only paints young woman (planting doubts in Catharina's mind).
  • Van Ruijven lecherously and menacingly grabs Griet outside and then has his hand on her throat. He then says Johannes is painting her for his (Van Ruijven's) pleasure and that she's ripe as a plum but still un-plucked. He then adds that he's waited for her long enough and then has her up against a wall where we hear and partially see him tear her clothing. Someone calls out Griet's name, however, making him stop and leave the scene.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Griet is awakened by nighttime screams. We hear more and then realize it's Catharina giving birth (not seen).
  • Van Ruijven lecherously and menacingly grabs Griet outside and then has his hand on her throat. He then says Johannes is painting her for his (Van Ruijven's) pleasure and that she's ripe as a plum but still un-plucked. He then adds that he's waited for her long enough and then has her up against a wall where we hear and partially see him tear her clothing. Someone calls out Griet's name, however, making him stop and leave the scene.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Piss" and "Cock and bull story."
  • Johannes sterilizes a needle or similar object in a candle flame and then pierces Griet's ear with it. That's seen from a distance with a little bit of resultant blood (which might be a little much for those easily made queasy by such sights).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A little suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 slang term for breasts ("bubbies") and 2 uses of "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Van Ruijven looks at a painting of a former young acquaintance and talks of the lace and satin pressed tight against "her plump little bubbies" (breasts) and the silk laying heavy on her thighs.
  • Tanneke talks about Van Ruijven pouring wine into a young woman (seen in a painting), that her dress didn't stay on long and that she was carrying his baby before the paint was dry.
  • We hear that Catharina is pregnant again, prompting Tanneke to state, "What can you do? Men..."
  • Griet spots Johannes behind Catharina as she plays the harpsichord with his hand caressing near the side of her clothed breast.
  • Pieter briefly kisses Griet.
  • Van Ruijven suddenly grabs Griet in a lecherous way (asking, "Can I have her?") when he states that he wants her in a painting with him.
  • People stare and gossip (not heard) about Griet after they hear that she's to be in a painting with Van Ruijven (knowing his reputation and past with another young woman in a painting).
  • Griet tells Pieter that she would never give in (sexually) to Van Ruijven.
  • There's some sensual material between Johannes and Griet, such as when he has her posing for a painting and tells her to open her mouth slightly and lick her lips. Later, he runs his finger along her lower lip in a similar fashion.
  • Van Ruijven lecherously and menacingly grabs Griet outside and then has his hand on her throat. He then says Johannes is painting her for his (Van Ruijven's) pleasure and that she's ripe as a plum but still un-plucked. He then adds that he's waited for her long enough and then has her up against a wall where we hear and partially see him tear her clothing. Someone calls out Griet's name, however, making him stop and leave the scene.
  • We see a man in a pub nuzzling at a woman whose partially lowered shirt shows some cleavage. We then see Griet passionately kissing Pieter while standing outside the pub at night with her leg up along his side. There's more kissing, heavy breathing and some partial undressing (no nudity). We later see her finishing getting dressed, thus implying additional fooling around or sex.
  • We see some cleavage in miscellaneous paintings as well as one showing a shirtless man with material down low on his hips.
  • SMOKING
  • Maria Thins smokes a pipe several times, while some miscellaneous people smoke in a pub.
  • A girl blows bubbles from a fake pipe.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The maids and kids hear Johannes and his wife loudly arguing over money.
  • Catharina is upset with Maria Thins and then Johannes about his work and involvement with Griet.
  • Catharina grabs a painter's trowel and tries to stab the painting of Griet, but Johannes grabs her arm and stops her. Their daughter sees all of that.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The fictionalized account of Johannes's famous painting.
  • Artists and what inspires them.
  • We see Griet doing laundry the old-fashioned way.
  • We see that Griet's father is blind.
  • There's talk of Catharina having a wet nurse for her baby.
  • Catharina's viewing of Griet wearing her earrings for Johannes is painting as akin to adultery.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Johannes's daughter purposefully wipes mud on hanging sheets that Griet has just washed. In turn, Griet slaps the girl on the face.
  • Johannes tears up the place looking for a reportedly stolen item.
  • We hear the sound of Maria Thins whacking Johannes's daughter's hands (for being bad) with a switch, but we don't see the impact.
  • Van Ruijven lecherously and menacingly grabs Griet outside and then has his hand on her throat. He then says Johannes is painting her for his (Van Ruijven's) pleasure and that she's ripe as a plum but still un-plucked. He then adds that he's waited for her long enough and then has her up against a wall where we hear and partially see him tear her clothing. Someone calls out Griet's name, however, making him stop and leave the scene.
  • Catharina grabs a painter's trowel and tries to stab the painting of Griet, but Johannes grabs her arm and stops her.



  • Reviewed January 5, 2004 / Posted January 9, 2004

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