Forget the hype. The movie is just annoying.
It’s one of those movies that makes you resent art-house cinema. It should have had a honking red “For Your Consideration” subtitle superimposed onto every other frame in loopy script. It had a predictable yet nonexistent plot. It featured a cast of 1-ply characters, played by actors who masterfully conveyed suggestions of intense inner lives that unfortunately did not exist. It was pretty. It was empty. It was boring. It was an art appreciation lesson thinly disguised as a film.
There were some great ideas in it. I believe Peter Webber, the director, really was fascinated by the painting, the period, Vermeer’s technique, etc. And if you’re going to steal from anyone, why not rip off Ingmar Bergman, as Webber does — a lot?
Still. Want my money back.