Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003, GBR/USA/LUX) C-100m. SCOPE *** D: Peter Webber. Starring Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Wilkinson, Judy Parfitt, Cillian Murphy, Essie Davis, Joanna Scanlan. Interesting depiction of every day life in the 17th century, focusing on shy chambermaid Johansson's employment in the house of (later-to-be) famous painter Vermeer and their mutual but hesitant infatuation. Low-key, almost detached drama has many beautiful images and moments. Good photography by Eduardo Serra. Based on the novel by Tracy Chevalier.

© Ron Altman