Tulip Fever (15)



Drama (2017)
105mins UK/US

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Alicia Vikander, Jack O'Connell, Christoph Waltz
Director: Justin Chadwick
Writer(s): Tom Stoppard, Deborah Moggach
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Orphan Sophia is raised by the nuns of St Ursula in mid-17th century Amsterdam at a time when the most precious and widely traded commodity is tulip bulbs. She reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal from wealthy merchant Cornelis Sandvoort, who will pay safe passage for Sophia's relatives to live in New Amsterdam in exchange for a male heir. Cornelis commissions local artist Jan van Loos to paint a portrait of his blissful union and the painter falls deliriously under the spell of virginal Sophie.

Seen that movie? Leave a comment / review here >>

LondonNet Film Review
Tulip Fever (15)

Filmed in the summer of 2014 before lead actress Alicia Vikander deservedly won her Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl, director Justin Chadwick's lust-fuelled period romp has been wilting on a film studio shelf for more than three years. Harvey Weinstein's involvement as a producer can't be blamed for the delay. Tulip Fever is a turgid, lifeless adaptation of Deborah Moggach's novel, which fails to bloom on the big screen despite some half-hearted propagation from director Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) and his starry international cast. Not even Dame Judi Dench, pursing her lips beneath a wimple, can inject life into a plodding, water-logged narrative in which a lowly fisherman brandishes a basket of pungent goods and tantalises one potential customer by boasting, "I've got a nice thick eel," with a straight face...

Tulip Fever. Copyright: Entertainment Film Distributors. Caption: Christoph Waltz and Alicia Vikander in Tulip Fever, directed by Justin Chadwick. All Rights Reserved.Codswallop, more like. Moggach's script, co-written by Tom Stoppard, is incapable of generating dramatic momentum and the multiple deceptions of the conclusion teeter precariously on the cusp of an unintentional comedy of errors. Production design and costumes are impressive, captured in sweeping camera shots over and around a bustling quayside, and Danny Elfman's orchestral score plucks the heartstrings when the cast is unable to oblige.

Orphan Sophia (Vikander) is raised by the nuns of St Ursula in mid-17th century Amsterdam at a time when the most precious and widely traded commodity is tulip bulbs. She reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal from wealthy merchant Cornelis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz), who will pay safe passage for Sophia's relatives to live in New Amsterdam in exchange for a male heir. "Marriage is a safe harbour," explains the Abbess (Dame Judi Dench). "Love, honour and obey - it's for the best." Sophia initially fails to excite her husband's "dozy little soldier" and her inability to fall pregnant necessitates a hurried visit to local quack Dr Sorgh (Tom Hollander). Cornelis commissions local artist Jan van Loos (Dane DeHaan) to paint a portrait of his blissful union and the painter falls deliriously under the spell of virginal Sophie. Meanwhile, housemaid Maria (Holliday Grainger) enjoys a lustful romance with local fisherman Willem (Jack O'Connell). When Maria discovers she is pregnant out of wedlock, which would bring shame upon her family, Sophia hatches a cunning plan to solve both of their predicaments.

Tulip Fever is a bouquet of missed opportunities that should have been left on that shelf to moulder indefinitely. A cornucopia of rumpy pumpy - almost every inch of Vikander is on softly lit display - can't distract from her curiously restrained performance. By contrast, Waltz exposes the vulnerability and sadness of his "lucky old dog", enriching a potentially two-dimensional villain far more than Chadwick's faltering and impotent film merits.

- Jo Planter

Tulip Fever. Copyright: Entertainment Film Distributors. Caption: Christoph Waltz and Alicia Vikander in Tulip Fever, directed by Justin Chadwick. All Rights Reserved.


London Cinemas

From Friday 11th January
To Thursday 17th January

- Kiln Cinema
From Friday 18th January
To Thursday 24th January

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


« Back to Index

Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.



« Back to Index