A poor script and an ineffectual story line lead Tulip Fever down a dead end
There seems to be a strange assumption that period dramas detailing any events pre-1900 will be an excellent piece of work; But in reality, they tend to have an incredibly similar hit rate to the other strains of modern cinema. And this strange sense of presumed quality often leads to an egotistical attempt at creating a full feature release.
Sophia (Alicia Vikander) is trapped in a loveless relationship with the elderly Cornelis (Christoph Waltz), desperate for something new to boost her lacklustre life. So when Cornelis hires a painter to capture the pair, Sophia falls for Jan (Dane DeHaan), and an adulterous relationship begins.
More than anything else, the cast gives away exactly what is wrong with these over-hyped period dramas. Judi Dench, Alicia Vikander, and Christoph Waltz have all won Academy Awards, with a supporting cast of young or popular stars in a variety of roles (Cara Delevingne features in two scenes). It’s clear that Tulip Fever was seen as a hot property being a quirky natured period drama, but has absolutely not lived up to that hype.
The initial idea is still clear to see, with the fascinating bidding war around the tulip bulbs acting as a bizarre past tradition, but that becomes a side show to the weak main story very quickly, leaving behind a wasted opportunity and another example of big production companies getting it terribly wrong.
On paper, it should be an Oscar front runner, with its unusual but appealing setting, and the aforementioned cast, but a poor script and an ineffectual story line lead Tulip Fever down a dead end. The cast are a joy to watch, but sadly, the sound manages to cancel out most of that quality quite quickly.
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