I finally got around to seeing Girl with a Pearl Earring tonight with Kathleen and a friend. I wasn’t sure what to expect. On one hand, Ebert loved it and I love me some Colin Firth. On the other hand, Scarlett Johansson has been annoying the crap out of me lately. Luckily my Mr. Darcy fixation won out. It’s a wonderful film. Slow, yes, but not boring and not overly melodramatic. Tom Wilkinson made a wonderful villain in his few scenes. The cinematography was lovely; every shot looked like a painting. Scarlett completely made me forget how vapid and shallow she is in real life. I highly recommend it if you’re in the mood for something a little different.
Random Fates Intersecting: I was reading Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything just last night and came to a footnote about Vermeer in the chapter about microscopes. Bryson mentions that some art historians believe Vermeer “cheated” by using a camera obscura provided by his friend Anton van Leeuwenhoek. It’s a bit of a conspiracy theory, though, so I didn’t expect it to be mentioned in the film. But there it was! Some guys bring in a big wooden box and Vermeer shows Griet how it works. It wasn’t integral to the story or anything – and he only admitted that it “helped” with the paintings – but I was still surprised that they worked it in.