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‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’: An Artist and His Muse

‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’: An Artist and His Muse (photo)

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If you were unlucky enough to be born poor in the Netherlands in the 17th Century, the best thing to do to improve your lot in life is to look like Scarlett Johansson. Girl with a Pearl Earring, adapted from the work of historical fiction by Tracy Chevalier, tells the story behind the creation of Johannes Vermeer’s masterwork “Girl With A Pearl Earring”. Scarlett Johansson stars as Griet, the lowly maid sent to work in the home of the great Dutch master painter, played by Colin Firth. Shockingly, Griet’s startling good works (and, just guessing, full set of teeth) caught the eye of the artist and he created the now famous portrait of the working class girl despite her unwillingness to pose.

Despite its beauty, the portrait raises a controversy. Tom Wilkinson plays Vermeer’s wealthy patron who is displeased by the work, because he wants Griet for himself. Vermeer’s pregnant wife (Essie Davis) is also none to happy that the extremely attractive scullery maid is cleaning her husband’s studio (not a euphemism). Griet must navigate the difficult waters of 17th century gossip and scandal while supporting a family and developing a relationship with a suitor, played by Cillian Murphy.

Directed by Peter Webber, the movie is lush and beautiful, not simply because the camera is frequently focused on ScarJo’s face. It was nominated for three Oscars, including well-deserved nods for both art direction and cinematography. Between the colors, luminous lighting, and rich photography, Vermeer himself would probably approve of the movie.

Girl With a Pearl Earring airs on IFC at 1 p.m. ET

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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