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Tulip Fever

Based on the novel by Deborah Moggach, director Justin Chadwich tells the story of the intertwined fates of two women in Amsterdam of the 17th century during the “tulip mania” era, one of history’s first speculative bubbles.


It’s easy to get swept away by the historical epic TULIP FEVER. Named after the bestseller by Deborah Maggach, Justin Chadwick (MANDELA, THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL) shows the fates of two women in 17th century Amsterdam with aplomb. Sophia (beautiful and ethereal: Alicia Vikander) is raised in a cloister and is married off to merchant Cornelis (pompous but not heartless: Christopher Waltz) who desperately wants an heir. Years go by and Sophia doesn’t get pregnant. Annetje (fun-loving: Cara Delevigne) works as Cornelis’ kitchenmaid. Newly in love with a fishmonger, she looks at Sophia’s listless marriage with pity. Then, Annetje gets unintentionally pregnant and Sophia begins to have an affair with young painter Jan von Loos (innocent Dane DeHaan) and both women become accomplices. The well-cast and effectively shot drama unfurls in images that looks like Dutch genre paintings: small windows shine a bit of daylight on patterned floors and blue-white porcelain, and the tulip mania is in the background. In 1630s Amsterdam, tulips were seen as collector’s items and their bulbs were traded off like stocks. The poor and rich got into debt in order to get highly sought-after bulbs and sell them quickly in order to make a profit. Lives were made and broken overnight until the first speculative bubble burst on May the 1st 1637 and the destinies of the protagonists changed forever as well. Along with this fascinating historical framework, the figure of Cornelis the merchant, that Waltz imbues with such depth and complexity, is what I remember most about the film.

Hendrike Bake

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Tulip Fever
USA/Großbritannien 2016, 107 min
Genre: Drama, Romance Films, Historical Film
Director: Justin Chadwick
Author: Tom Stoppard
DOP: Eigil Bryld
Montage: Rick Russell
Music: Danny Elfman
Distributor: Prokino
Cast: Judi Dench, Christoph Waltz, Zach Galifianakis, Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne
FSK: 6
Release: 24.08.2017




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