In 17th Century Amsterdam, an orphaned girl Sophia (Alicia Vikander) is forcibly married to a rich and powerful merchant Cornelis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz) – an unhappy “arrangement” that saves her from poverty. After her husband commissions a portrait, she begins a passionate affair with the painter Jan Van Loos (Dane DeHaan), a struggling young artist. Seeking to escape the merchant’s ever-reaching grasp, the lovers risk everything and enter the frenzied tulip bulb market, with the hope that the right bulb will make a fortune and buy their freedom.
Genres: Drama, Romance
Actor: Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell, Holliday Grainger
Director: Justin Chadwick Country: UK, USA
Movie: Tulip FeverProduction Co: Duration: 107 min Release: 2017
how Alicia Vikander’s sexed-up historical drama became a blooming nightmare?
In 2014, the biggest news coming out of the set of Tulip Fever was that it starred Cressida Bonas. Then best known as Prince Harry’sex-girlfriend, Bonas was the most headline-friendly name attached to the period adaptation, which had been stuck in development hell for over a decade since Deborah Moggach published her acclaimed novel in 2000.
Bonas was to be joined by an array of intriguing names in the corset-filled romp inspired by true events. There was Judi Dench, recent Oscar nominee Christoph Waltz, Glee star Matthew Morrison, model Cara Delevingne, up-and-coming actors Alicia Vikander and Dane DeHaan, and Zach Galifianakis of the Hangover franchise, all of whom were roped in by Hollywood super-producer Harvey Weinstein to what was slowly building up to be the successor to his 1998 smash Shakespeare in Love.
Four years later, Bonas and Delevingne both have legitimate careers as actresses, Glee’s cultural dominance is long over, Galifianakis’s movie stardom has waned, Vikander is an Oscar winner, and DeHaan and Delevingne have in the interim filmed and released an entirely different expensive disaster.
But Tulip Fever, following dismal test screenings, five different release dates and some last-ditch attempts to find audience favour by Weinstein himself, has only just been seen publicly for the first time, opening in US cinemas this past weekend and collecting a dismal million dollars. So how did what once seemed like a starry sure-thing go quite so terribly wrong?