The assertion that the movie is a snickering piss-take on Vermeer's genius is not just 180 degrees wrong, it's willfully rejecting the entire point of the movie -- and in doing so, incidentally, proving it. Obviously Vermeer was a genius both in terms of composition and at the level of the brushstroke. The movie argues that what's between the two -- the photorealistic light and color -- was the product of a separate *purely technological* genius. Tim talks about how art and technology used to be (and still should be) considered as complementary to one another rather than in opposition. Only if you still saw them in opposition, still saw technology as a threat to art, could you read the movie as denigrating Vermeer's achievement.
I mean, really. You shouldn't have to be a geek yourself to understand that when a geek identifies someone else as having geekly gifts, it's praise, not a putdown.
Zacharek remains one of the most interesting critics around: the positive reviews are among the most insightful in the industry, while the occasional negative reviews of good movies are almost always huge misreadings hinging on fairly obvious personal blind spots or biases.