|Kirsten Dunst as the iconic Marie Antoinette|
|Scarlett Johansson as Vermeer's iconic Girl With a Pearl Earring|
|Am I the only one creeped out by Colin Firth's wig?!|
As I have recently arrived home from a trip to Paris and Amsterdam/Delft, I was scouring my DVD collection for films with either French or Dutch influences to watch and write about. These two leapt out at me. As we had actually just been to Delft, the quaint historic town where Vermeer spent his entire life, I pulled out Girl With a Pearl Earring first. I mean, how can you miss with Colin Firth, ScarJo, Tom Wilkinson and Judy Parfitt?
|Tom Wilkinson and Judy Parfitt as Vermeer's patron and mother-in-law are truly wonderful|
The indoor sets and the artistic quality of the lighting were lovely, although the outdoor shots were more like Venice than Delft, largely because they reused a set in Luxembourg where a film set in Venice was shot. Sigh. The real canals as they are just as they would have been in Vermeer's time but I guess filming on location is difficult. And although the acting seems to be good, they just didn't lose me in their characters. I still felt I was watching Colin Firth in a bad wig (although the one on Cillian Murphy was worse!) and ScarJo in a bonnet.
|Cillian Murphy in a fright wig and Scarlett Johansson in a bonnet|
Judy Parfitt as Vermeer's mother-in-law and Tom Wilkinson as his lecherous patron were spot on however. So, I can still recommend watching it to learn about Vermeer and his amazing works, of which only 34 now survive. And watch it because it is gorgeous and sumptuous in it's scenery, costumes and cinematography.
|Sumptuous and colourful, this could also be a painting!|
|Not surprising that they were guillotined by the poor starving peasants!|
There is a lot of great historical content in this film too and although not perfectly correct, it is probably closer to the truth than most bio pics. So what was it that bugged me about this film? Was it the weird mix of accents, from American to British to French (real and faked)?
|OK, the costumes alone make the film worth watching|
If I compare it to Shakespeare in Love, which is one of my absolute "can't do without" films, there is just a lack of heart and soul to the film. I just didn't care whether they got their heads chopped off at the end. And that is never a good sign in a film...
|Mmmmmmm.....Marie Antoinette shoes from the film. Manolo Blahnik made hundreds....|