Tulip Fever

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Tulip Fever
Tulip Fever poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJustin Chadwick
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onTulip Fever
by Deborah Moggach
Music byDanny Elfman
CinematographyEigil Bryld
Edited byRick Russell
Distributed byThe Weinstein Company[1]
Release date
  • August 13, 2017 (2017-08-13) (Soho House)
  • September 1, 2017 (2017-09-01) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes[2]
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Budget$25 million[3]
Box office$9.2 million[2]

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, Holliday Grainger, Tom Hollander, Matthew Morrison, Kevin McKidd, Douglas Hodge, Joanna Scanlan, Zach Galifianakis, Judi Dench, and Christoph Waltz. 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 received generally unfavorable reviews from critics and grossed $9 million worldwide against its $25 million budget.


Set in the Netherlands in the 17th century, during the period of the tulip mania, Sophia, an orphan, is 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.

Three years later, Sophia is unhappy in the marriage, since Cornelis seems to be concerned only with conceiving an heir, to no avail thus far. Cornelis believes this to have something to do with 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 both his wife and his child away.

Cornelis decides to hire a painter, so that he could 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 in a courtship with the neighborhood fishmonger, Willem. Willem is 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 of money 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 realizes that she is pregnant with Willem's child. 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. 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 with Cornelis.

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, but eventually realizes that it is too late to undo what she has done. Ashamed of herself, Sophia runs away and Jan is unable to find her.

Willem, returning after his stint in the navy, goes to see Maria at Cornelis's house. Maria is furious at him at first, but they soon reconcile. Cornelis overhears their loud quarreling and the reveal of the conspiracy between Maria, Sophia, and Jan. Cornelis makes his peace with the truth, and departs for the Indies, where he finds love and makes a family, but only after first leaving the house to Maria, Willem, and the baby girl that he loved as his own.

Eight years later, the abbess of St. Ursula visits Jan and views his artwork of Sophia. She 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, who has joined the convent, and they share tender smiles.



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.[5][6]

In 2014, Alison Owen partnered with Weinstein to restart the film after re-acquiring the rights to the film from Paramount Pictures.[7] In October 2013, Dane DeHaan was in talks to join the cast.[8] In February 2014, Christoph Waltz joined the cast.[9] In April 2014, Holliday Grainger, Cara Delevingne, and Jack O'Connell joined the cast.[10][11] In June 2014, Judi Dench was cast as the abbess of St. Ursula, who takes in orphaned children.[12] That same month Tom Hollander, Cressida Bonas, and David Harewood joined the cast.[13][14][15] In August 2014, Matthew Morrison joined.[16] 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.[16][17]

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.[18] Tom Stoppard adapted the screenplay for the film.[19] The London-based Welsh portrait artist Jamie Routley did the original portraits that are seen in the film.[20] Danny Elfman composed the film's score.[21]

Filming took place at Cobham Hall in Gravesend, Kent where production transformed a wing at the school into a 17th-century Amsterdam Gracht. The waterway was also constructed from scratch, complete with barges and donkeys crossing humpback bridges. Additionally, the school's courtyard was used as the brewery yard in the story.[22] Other filming locations include Norwich Cathedral,[15] Holkham (in Norfolk),[23] Tilbury (in Essex), Kentwell Hall (in Suffolk), and at Pinewood Studios on various dates throughout June and July in 2014.[24] Filming also took place in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire.


Footage from the film was screened in May 2015 at the 68th Cannes Film Festival.[25] In December 2015, the first image of the film featuring Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz was released.[26] The film was originally scheduled to be released in November 2015, but was pushed back to July 15, 2016[27] and then delayed again until February 24, 2017.[28][29] It was then pulled from the schedule,[30] and later moved to August 25, 2017.[31] On August 16, 2017, the film was again delayed, this time being pushed back a week to September 1.[32] The film premiered on August 13, 2017, at London's Soho House.[citation needed]


Box office[edit]

Tulip Fever grossed $2.4 million in the United States and Canada and $6.7 million in other territories for a total of $9.2 million, against a production budget of $25 million.[2]

In North America, Tulip Fever was projected to gross $1–2 million from 765 theaters in its opening weekend.[33] 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.[34] Despite adding seven theaters in its second weekend, the film dropped 75.4% to $285,300, the 37th biggest such drop in history.[35]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 10% based on 59 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Tulip Fever is a lush, handsomely-mounted period piece undone by uninspired dialogue and excessive plotting."[36] 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".[37]

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."[38]

In December 2018, it was released in several cinemas across the UK. It was reviewed by Adam White of The Daily Telegraph, as "handsome yet cripplingly dull Tulip Fever is every bit a throwback to that age of Chocolat and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin" and it suffers from "clumsy post-production work".[39] It was also the penultimate film to be produced by The Weinstein Company, prior to its closure on 16 July 2018.[40]

Year Award/Festival Category Nominee(s) Result
Fünf Seen Film Festival Audience Award
Justin Chadwick

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ Paramount, which initially acquired rights to the film, were only given a studio credit in the final film.


  1. ^ Kenigsberg, Ben (1 September 2017). "Review: 'Tulip Fever' Delivers a Wilted Period Piece". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Tulip Fever (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Long, Strange Trip of Tulip Fever to Theaters". The Atlantic. August 31, 2017.
  4. ^ "'Tulip Fever' starring Allentown native Dane DeHaan is on area screens, finally". The Morning Call. 30 August 2017. Archived from the original on 26 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Judi Dench to star in Tulip Fever movie". bbc.co.uk. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Why 'Tulip Fever' Took Nearly 20 Years to Reach the Screen (Guest Column)". The Hollywood Reporter. August 30, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  7. ^ "In Conversation: Alison Owen (Producer of Saving Mr. Banks, Shaun of the Dead, Tamara Drewe)". Film Doctor. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  8. ^ Jaugernauth, Kevin (October 31, 2013). "Dane DeHaan Feeling 'Tulip Fever,' Melisandre Feels 'Incarnate,' Alan Arkin & Amanda Seyfried Have A 'Wonderful Time' & More". Indiewire. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  9. ^ Kemp, Stuart (8 February 2014). "Christoph Waltz Picks 'Tulip Fever' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  10. ^ Yamato, Jen (24 April 2014). "UK Model Cara Delevingne In Talks For 'Tulip Fever' & 'Pan' Roles". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  11. ^ Williams, Owen (21 February 2014). "Holliday Grainger Has Tulip Fever". empireonline.com. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Judi Dench to star in Tulip Fever movie". bbc.co.uk. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  13. ^ Milan, Mark Robert (11 June 2014). "Cressida Bonas Cast In New Weinstein Movie Prince Harry's ex sets sights on Hollywood". www.royal-fans.com. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Anna Kendrick To Voice Lead In 'Trolls'; David Harewood Joins 'Tulip Fever' Cast". www.deadline.com. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  15. ^ a b Knights, Emma (13 June 2014). "Filming begins for Tulip Fever at Norwich Cathedral". eveningnews24.co.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  16. ^ a b Campbell, Tina (20 August 2014). "One Direction star Harry Styles could have been in a movie kissing Cara Delevingne, but hey, didn't have the time". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  17. ^ Jaafar, Ali (11 March 2016). "One Direction Singer Harry Styles Offered Role In Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Tulip Fever". cathedral.org.uk (Norwich Cathedral). Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  19. ^ Williams, Owen (6 June 2014). "Judi Dench Has Tulip Fever". empireonline.com. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Tulip Fever starring Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz & Dane DeHaan ... coming soon? (First look)". chapter1-take1.blogspot.co.uk. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  21. ^ "Danny Elfman to score Justin Chadwick's Tulip Fever". Film Music Reporter. September 27, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  22. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Tulip Fever Article".
  23. ^ "Filming for Tulip Fever takes place in Holkham as well as Norwich Cathedral". edp24.co.uk. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  24. ^ Britcher, Chris (23 April 2014). "Film extras from Kent wanted for Tulip Fever movie". Your Medway. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  25. ^ Furness, Hannah (15 May 2015). "Cannes: Cressida Bonas's screen career blooms with Tulip Fever". telegraph. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Alicia Vikander : The Danish Girl Star Jumps Out of a Plane and Talks Overnight Fame". Vogue.com. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  27. ^ McClintock, Pamela (April 26, 2016). "Alicia Vikander's 'Tulip Fever' Gets Summer Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  28. ^ Busch, Anita (July 6, 2016). "Alicia Vikander-Starring 'Tulip Fever' Moved To 2017 By TWC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  29. ^ Bramesco, Charles (June 30, 2016). "What to See at the Movies in July". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  30. ^ Winfrey, Graham (February 13, 2017). "The Weinstein Company's 'Tulip Fever' Release Date Pushed Back to Later in 2017". Indiewire.com. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  31. ^ "Weinstein Co. Replanting 'Tulip Fever' In The Summer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  32. ^ "'Tulip Fever' Release Date Shifts Into September". Deadline Hollywood. August 16, 2017.
  33. ^ "Box office: Hitman's Bodyguard to threepeat over tepid Labor Day weekend". Entertainment Weekly. August 31, 2017.
  34. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 3, 2017). "Labor Day Weekend The Worst Since 1998 As 'Hitman's Bodyguard' Holds No. 1 For 3rd Weekend With $12.9M". Deadline Hollywood.
  35. ^ "Crazed Clown Cashes Smashes Sept., Genre Records As Stephen King's 'It' Pulls In $123M+ Opening". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  36. ^ "Tulip Fever (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  37. ^ "Tulip Fever reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ White, Adam (7 December 2018). "Tulip Fever review: covered in Harvey Weinstein's grubby fingerprints". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  40. ^ "Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy and frees staff from secrecy orders". The Guardian. 20 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2019.

External links[edit]