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Set in Amsterdam, a rising young artist named Jan Van Loos (Dane DeHaan) is set to paint the portrait of Cornelis Sandvoort’s (Christoph Waltz) much younger wife Sophia (Alicia Vikander), a trophy he proudly displays in society. Naturally, the artist is smitten by the lovely Sophia, as she is with him. It’s not long after when the two begin a torrid, secret affair, and desperately long to build their own life together. They hatch a plan to steal away, gambling on the Dutch tulip craze that made fortunes for many.
Based on the book of the same name by Deborah Moggach, Tulip Fever is a directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) and features an impressive ensemble cast beyond the above mentioned leads. Cara Delevingne, Jack O’Connell, Judi Dench, Zach Galifianakis, and Tom Hollander all join the story, though clearly this will be focused on DeDann and Vikander, who is just coming off a stellar, Academy Award-winning year.
The film itself is storied, having started production in 2004 with Jude Law and Keira Knightly before it was postponed. The rights were sold and Steven Spielberg expressed interest before it was finally acquired by Alison Owen, who partnered with Harvey Weinstein to bring it back into production. It’s also hard not to make a quick comparison with 2003’s Girl With a Pearl Earring, where Scarlett Johansson starred as a young woman in 17th century Netherlands who sits for a painter enraptured by her beauty. Settings and themes aside, Tuplip Fever looks well photographed by cinematographer Eigil Bryld, who captures the city and era well. If you like period dramas, this one has a lot of appeal.
Tulip Fever is set to release July 15, 206