The art direction here is striking and well thought out. It sounds like a gimmick to say that it looks like a Vermeer in itself; it’s almost too obvious that they’d try to do this, but the effect is well done and proves to be one of the better aspects of the film. It never seems heavy handed or forced.
Sadly, I have little more praise to offer the film. Tom Wilkinson puts in a genuinely threatening performance as Vermeer’s biggest patron. Other than that, it’s a dull affair. Firth and Johansson have little chemistry onscreen and while I know the latter sometimes struggles to produce interesting performances, I was hoping for a little more from the former.
This isn’t a bad film, but there’s no denying there’s something missing. The look and feel of it kept me watching until the credits, but the fruitless plot and the boring script made them a welcome sight.