Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Justin Chadwick|
|Produced by||Alison Owen|
Tulip Fever |
by Deborah Moggach
|Music by||Danny Elfman|
|Edited by||Rick Russell|
|Distributed by||Worldview Entertainment|
|Box office||$8.4 million|
Tulip Fever is a 2017 historical / romantic drama film directed by Justin Chadwick and written by Deborah Moggach and Tom Stoppard, adapted from Moggach's novel of the same name. It stars Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O'Connell, Zach Galifianakis, Judi Dench, Christoph Waltz, Holliday Grainger, Matthew Morrison and Cara Delevingne. The plot follows a 17th-century painter in Amsterdam who falls in love with a married woman whose portrait he has been commissioned to paint.
Filmed in the summer of 2014, Tulip Fever was delayed numerous times before finally being released in the United States on September 1, 2017 by The Weinstein Company. It grossed $8 million worldwide against its $25 million budget.
Set in the Netherlands in the 17th century, during the period of the tulip mania, the film tells the story of an artist Jan (Dane DeHaan) who falls for a married young woman Sophia (Alicia Vikander) while he's commissioned to paint her portrait by her husband Cornelis (Christoph Waltz). The two invest in the risky tulip market in hopes of building a future together.
The story begins with 17 year old Sophia, an orphan, being betrothed to the elderly Cornelis. In return for the marriage, her sisters are able to travel to New Amsterdam (New York) in the new world, where they have an aunt awaiting them. Sophia is unhappy in the marriage, since Cornelis seems to be concerned only with siring an heir. Cornelis has his friends show him their children, and there is talk of giving the new orphan bride Sophia six months to conceive and provide him with an heir. He already suffers from a mistake he made in the past, with his previous wife: she miscarried their first child and when Cornelis asked the doctor to save the second child over the wife, he feels that God punished him by taking his wife and his child away. Meanwhile, Sophia goes to a doctor, Dr Sogh, to find out why she is unable to conceive. Dr Sogh misunderstands Sophia and offers to impregnate Sophia himself. Sophia slaps him and returns home.
Cornelis decides to hire a painter, so that he would at least be remembered as having had a beautiful young wife, should he have no heir to continue his legacy. Sophia agrees, but as soon as the young painter Jan arrives to paint the couple, he and Sophia fall in love. Jan sends a note to Sophia, asking her to send him a vase with tulips. She shows up at his door with the tulips, and they consummate their love.
Meanwhile, Sophia's friend, the housemaid Maria, is having an affair with the neighborhood fishmonger, Willem. Willem is also speculating in the tulip market, and is doing quite well - expecting to be independently prosperous and able to marry Maria, he even sells his business to another fishmonger. One day, Sophia borrows Maria's cloak and heads to a rendezvous with Jan. Willem, seeing Sophia in the cloak, mistakes her for Maria, and follows her to her rendezvous. Crushed by what he thinks is Maria's unfaithfulness, he goes to a pub to drown his sorrows. There a prostitute robs him of the large sum he has built up on the tulip market. When he tries to retrieve the money, he is beaten up and forcibly inducted into the navy for causing a ruckus.
Jan plots to escape to the new world with Sophia, after having success of his own in the tulip speculation market. He hears that the nuns at St. Ursula (the convent Sophia came from) raise tulips in their gardens. Jan attempts to steal some of the bulbs, but is knocked out by the abbess of St. Ursula. When he regains consciousness, he apologises and the abbess gives him the bulbs Willem had bought before he was thrown into the navy.
Maria realises she is pregnant by Willem. With Willem gone, the baby will be born out of wedlock. Maria explains her condition to Sophia and threatens to reveal Sophia’s affair to Cornelis, if Cornelis were to find out about her pregnancy. Maria tells the audience in voice-over she is embarrassed at having made such a threat against her friend. Sophia conspires with Maria and decides to pass off the pregnancy as her own. When the baby is born, Sophia will pretend to die in childbirth, so she can leave to be with Jan, and Maria will get to raise the child as her own.
After Maria gives birth to a daughter and Sophia pretends to die, Cornelis is griefstricken at the loss of his wife. Sophia, under her shroud, weeps as she realizes that she has deeply hurt Cornelis with her deceit. While she is being carried away in a coffin, she regrets what she has done. When she later returns to the home, she catches sight of Cornelis lovingly cradling the baby, and decides that it's too late for things to go back to how they were. She flees back to the convent where she was raised.
Jan has one last transaction that will get him enough money to let him and Sophia leave the city and also pay off all his creditors. He tasks his friend, Gerrit, who is a drunk, with accomplishing this transaction, imploring him not to get drunk along the way. Gerrit completes the transaction and then does get drunk. In the ensuing revelry he eats the cargo he was carrying. When he tells Jan and Jan's creditors how he ate the "onion", they all know they have been ruined. The tulip bubble has burst. Jan goes to find Sophia, but finds her bright blue silk cloak in the river instead, which she cast off while fleeing back to the convent. He thinks she has flung herself into the canal as a result of the crashed tulip market.
Willem, returning after his stint in the navy, goes to see Maria at Cornelis's house. Maria is furious with him when he explains that he was in Africa, but they sort out their misunderstandings and reconcile. Cornelis, in the next room, overhears their loud quarreling and the reveal of the conspiracy. He makes his peace with the truth, and departs for the Indies, but only after first leaving the house to Maria, Willem, and the baby girl he loved as his own.
Eight years later, Jan has nothing left except the paintings of his lover, Sophia. The abbess of St. Ursula praises him for his talent, and commissions him to paint a mural in the church. When Jan looks down from painting the mural, he sees Sophia has joined the convent and smiles. The movie ends with the maid Maria and her fishmonger husband Willem eating dinner with their children. It is revealed that the film’s voiceover is Maria explaining the events which led to their family fortune to her first-born, Sophia, who is named in tribute after her mistress and friend.
- Dane DeHaan as Jan van Loos
- Alicia Vikander as Sophia Sandvoort, Cornelis’s wife
- Christoph Waltz as Cornelis Sandvoort, Sophia’s husband
- Jack O'Connell as Willem
- Holliday Grainger as Maria
- Judi Dench as the Abbess of St. Ursula
- Zach Galifianakis as Gerrit
- Matthew Morrison as Mattheus
- Cara Delevingne as Annetje
- Joanna Scanlan as Mrs. Overvalt
- Tom Hollander as Dr. Sorgh
- Cressida Bonas as Mrs. Steen
- Kevin McKidd as Johan de Bye
- David Harewood as Prater
The film was originally planned to be made in 2004 on a $48 million budget, with Jude Law, Keira Knightley and Jim Broadbent as lead actors, John Madden as director and Steven Spielberg producing through DreamWorks. However, the production was halted days before it was scheduled to start filming as a result of changes in tax rules affecting film production in the UK.
On July 8, 2013, the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye reported that Justin Chadwick would direct the film with Alicia Vikander attached to star in the role of Sophia and that Matthias Schoenaerts was being sought for the male lead. Bamigboye reported that Chadwick together with producers Alison Owen and Harvey Weinstein, decided to cast Vikander for the film.
In 2014, Alison Owen partnered with Weinstein to restart the film after re-acquiring the rights to the film from Paramount Pictures. In October 2013, Dane DeHaan was in talks to join the cast. In February 2014, Christoph Waltz joined the cast. In April 2014, Holliday Grainger, Cara Delevingne, and Jack O’Connell joined the cast. In June 2014, Judi Dench was cast as the abbess of St. Ursula, who takes in orphaned children. That same month Tom Hollander, Cressida Bonas, and David Harewood joined the cast. In August 2014, Matthew Morrison joined. Deborah Moggach, author of the novel, also appears in the film. Harvey Weinstein offered Harry Styles the role of Mattheus, but the singer turned it down due to scheduling conflicts, and Matthew Morrison was cast instead.
The crew of Tulip Fever included cinematographer Eigil Bryld, production designer Simon Elliott, costume designer Michael O’Connor, hair and make-up designer Daniel Phillips and editor Rick Russell. Tom Stoppard adapted the screenplay for the film. The London-based Welsh portrait artist Jamie Routley did the original portraits that are seen in the film. Danny Elfman composed the film's score.
Filming took place at Cobham Hall in Cobham, Kent, Norwich Cathedral, Holkham (in Norfolk), Tilbury (in Essex), Kentwell Hall (in Suffolk), and at Pinewood Studios on various dates throughout June and July in 2014. Filming also took place in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire.
Footage from the film was screened in May 2015 at the 68th Cannes Film Festival. In December 2015, the first image of the film featuring Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz was released. The film was originally scheduled to be released in November 2015, but was pushed back to July 15, 2016 and then delayed again until February 24, 2017. It was then pulled from the schedule, and later moved to August 25, 2017. On August 16, 2017, the film was again delayed, this time being pushed back a week to September 1. The film premiered on August 13, 2017, at London's Soho House.
As of February 5, 2018[update], Tulip Fever has grossed $2.4 million in the United States and Canada and $5.9 million in other territories for a total of $8.3 million, against a production budget of $25 million.
In North America, Tulip Fever was projected to gross $1–2 million from 765 theaters in its opening weekend. It ended up debuting to $1.2 million ($1.5 million over the four-day Labor Day weekend) in what was the worst combined holiday weekend since 1998. Despite adding seven theaters in its second weekend, the film dropped 75.4% to $285,300, the 37th biggest such drop in history.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 9% based on 53 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Tulip Fever is a lush, handsomely-mounted period piece undone by uninspired dialogue and excessive plotting." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized average rating to reviews, the film has an average score of 38 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers gave the film 1 star out of 4, saying, "Tulip Fever, which was shot in 2014 but only hitting theaters now after years of recutting, retooling and release-date reshuffling, should have been allowed to die on the vine ... The film just sits there onscreen like a wilting flower with nothing to nourish it."
Awards and nominations
|Fünf Seen Film Festival||Audience Award||Nominated|
Notes and references
- Paramount, which initially acquired rights to the film, were only given a studio credit in the final film.
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- "Danny Elfman to score Justin Chadwick's Tulip Fever". Film Music Reporter. September 27, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
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- Furness, Hannah (15 May 2015). "Cannes: Cressida Bonas's screen career blooms with Tulip Fever". telegraph. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
- "Alicia Vikander : The Danish Girl Star Jumps Out of a Plane and Talks Overnight Fame". Vogue.com. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
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- "'Tulip Fever' Release Date Shifts Into September". Deadline Hollywood. August 16, 2017.
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- "Box office: Hitman's Bodyguard to threepeat over tepid Labor Day weekend". Entertainment Weekly. August 31, 2017.
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- "Crazed Clown Cashes Smashes Sept., Genre Records As Stephen King's 'It' Pulls In $123M+ Opening". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
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- "Tulip Fever reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
- Travers, Peter (September 1, 2017). "'Tulip Fever' Review: This D.O.A. Period Piece Should've Died on the Vine". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 5, 2017.