The 2003 film is a screenwriter’s version of the story behind the creation of Vermeer’s classic painting “Girl With a Pearl Earring”.
In the mid 1600’s, a young, illiterate peasant girl named Griet went to live and work as a servant in the home of the promising but financially struggling painter. Obsessed by her beauty, Vermeer insisted on using her as the subject for one of his works, resulting in a masterpiece.
Visually the film is stunning, the cinematography luminous, setting and costume excellently conceived and executed. Watching this, I fell into the film and emerged and hour and forty minutes later, my mind full of images, and the haunting music.
Some say the film is more style than content, though I did not find it so, but there can be no argument about the beauty of the music. Written by Alexandre Desplat, the gentle score – filled with beautiful flute and piano passages – captures the lyrical, haunting tenderness of the subject matter. On this CD, the music is orchestrated and conducted by Desplat himself, leading the Pro Arte Orchestra of London.
In these days of loud, pounding, explosive soundtracks, this one comes as a beautiful, gentle exception.