Portrait of desire

28th May 2004 at 01:00
The simmering mutual attraction between Johannes Vermeer and his family's young maid is the subject of Peter Webber's stunningly beautiful directorial debut, Girl with a Pearl Earring. Starring Colin Firth as the 17th-century Dutch painter, and Scarlett Johansson as Griet, the peasant girl who becomes his muse, the film recreates the soft light and colour of Vermeer's most famous works. In this fictional tale, Griet comes to work at the Vermeer household, overseen by the artist's haughty wife, Catharina, and her mother, Maria. When Vermeer's patron commissions a portrait of the girl, the developing relationship threatens Griet's courtship with a local butcher boy and draws the opprobrium of Catharina and the painter's 10-year-old daughter.

Girl with a Pearl Earring is released to buy and rent on VHSand DVDby Pathe Distribution on May 31, and The TES has two copies of each format to give away. For a chance of winning one, send your name and address on a postcard or by email, telling us what format you prefer, to the address on the right marked Pearl offer. The first four entries drawn on June 3 will win.

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