Brush with Fate (2003)

Brush with Fate (2003)
  • 401
  • PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 2003 ()
  • Running time: 100 min
  • Original Title: Brush with Fate
  • Voted: 401

The story of a painting as it moves from owner to owner through the centuries.

1Ellen BurstynRika
2Glenn CloseCornelia Engelbrecht
3Thomas GibsonRichard
4Phyllida LawMaria
  • Not Too Bad by 7

    This movie is a decent adaptation of the novel--however, reading the novel is almost necessary in order to get the depth of the characters' struggles throughout the film. I have used this film with students studying Vreeland's novel and they have found it a wonderful aid in comprehending the novel. While I am sure many have read the novel and enjoyed it, there is a deeper subtext that the novel implies that is not captured in the film. In each story there is a child/parent relationship that is pivotal to meaning of the painting to that particular owner. I enjoyed the performances---especially Glenn Close, who truly captured the craziness of the character Cornelius from the novel and the story of Magdelena was well told.

  • A nice drawback to the power of a Painting by 8

    This made for TV movie presented by Hallmark was something I looked forward to seeing this Sunday, since it dealt with the painter Johannes Vermeer (a favorite painter of mine) and how a certain painting of his got in the hands of an eccentric woman and her father. The woman is Glenn Close, looking very mousy and spinster-ish, she tells the story to a young man (Thomas Gibson) of how that painting turned out to be in her family. The performance by Kelly Macdonald (Gosford Park) is the highlight of the movie as she plays it like a young Kate Winslet, with a lot of fire and mischief in her eyes. The performances were much better for an actuall theatrical release. Too bad the ending was rather lame, and left many questions unanswered about Glenn Close's character. Still, if you have a fascination with paintings and the stories behind them, this is truly a nice piece of Made for TV fanfare. If you still want more, watch the movie "The Red Violen" for a similiar story and intrigue.

  • A series of stories dealing with the history and mystery of a "lost" painting. by 7

    I had seen this movie years ago when it first came out and while it isn't the best movie ever made, I enjoyed it. First of all, it's original. Based on Vreeland's book, the author presents us with the idea of a lost Vermeer painting. What an exciting thought because it's believable! We live in a world where treasures from sunken ships are retrieved and Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered. Why not a lost painting? And then she creates a whole history of that painting. I have not read Vreeland's book, but I may if only to read the description of the painting, which must have been quite good in order for someone to be able to create the painting shown in the movie. It makes me wonder who actually painted "Girl in Hyacinth Blue" for the movie. I will search a bit more to find out. I'll bet other people will too. Any movie that inspires you to search further whether it be to look at the real Vermeer paintings and discover an appreciation for art or perhaps to read a book written by Vreeland or Russo (Richard Russo wrote the script for this movie and has also written one of my favorite books) is worth while.

  • Please, no brush off by 7

    Brr, the reviews for this Hallmark Hall of Famer have been considerably chilly. Too bad people can't warm up to the idea of an original movie (though based on a book) that moves slowly in its presentation and theme. Brush with Fate is fascinating. The storyline of tracing backwards to the actual setting of a painting done by a master is quite riveting. It doesn't matter that Glenn Close has a relatively small role. It was all that was needed.

    The stories take place mainly in Holland, and the time periods used are colorful, and refreshing. The whole idea of "What if this really happened?" seems plausible by the end of the movie.

    Even if the painting is not real, the one created in the movie is captivating in execution. If you love art, enjoy speculative storytelling, and favor Glenn Close, then do check this movie out to form your own opinion.

  • Following the Trail of a Lost Vermeer by 8

    This is a fascinating film by Brent Shields which, although made for television, was largely shot on location in the Netherlands and must have had a substantial budget for a TV movie. The production values are very high, with excellent sets and costumes and wonderful old Dutch buildings used to great effect. The film has two spectacular performances, one by the amazing Glen Close, as you have never seen her before, and the other by the brilliant young British actress Kelly Macdonald, who was such a strong presence in the British TV series 'State of Play' and in various films since. There are many other fine performances as well, a number of them by Dutch actors unknown to those of us who do not wear clogs, eat pea soup, and pronounce strange vowels. The story is based upon the imagined existence of a lost Vermeer, which for the film was specially painted by a Dutch artist named Jonathan Janson, who succeeded admirably in imitating a Vermeer. The painting is of a girl wrapped in a cloak of hyacinth blue and sitting in the usual Vermeer room by window light. The film investigates the history of the painting through the centuries, in the manner of the famous film which follows the history of a violin, 'The Red Violin'. 'Brush with Fate' is rather a weak title, and must have depressed the DVD sales a lot. This film is really very charming and entrancing in many respects. There are some amazing twists in the story, which is a series of strange tales going back further and further in time until we discover who the girl was in the painting and have a lot of Vermeer himself in the story. The 'topper' in terms of plot twists is the extraordinary revelation at the ending. Anyone willing to sit through a film in which no one gets killed by machine guns, in which helicopters do not crash through skyscraper windows, in which people are not always pulling their clothes off so that the director can get excited, and who have some interest in art, would find this film interesting. It is also a very wonderful glimpse of the Netherlands of the past, and we see much more of it here than we do in 'Girl with the Pearl Earring'. Also, the film should be treasured as one of Glen Close's most bizarre roles, which she pulls off with true genius, and hence is a gem for those serious about great acting. As for Kelly Macdonald, she acts circles round everybody but Glen Close, and shows such fire and character that she sets the screen alight.

1Eric Van Haren Nomancinematographer
2Lawrence Shraggecomposer
3Brent Shieldsdirector
4Scott Vickreyeditor
5Susan Vreelandwriter
6Richard Russowriter