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Tulip Fever (2017) - Blu-ray Review

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Tulip Fever (2017) - Blur-ay Review

2 starsPeriod pieces such as these can have a hard time in the modern cinematic landscape, so one must come loaded for bear to make a mark. What tends to resonate with modern audiences, apart from the usual commercially considered trappings Hollywood always considers, is some parallel with contemporary issues and characters that resonate with time honoured struggled that we all face, no matter our century.

On the face of it, Tulip Fever seemed armed for success. Within its cast are no less than three Oscar winners; the script is based off a novel by Deborah Moggach, a best seller and author of some note; and every facet from lead to supporting cast, the director, the production design offer the best in the business.

It tells the story of 17th Century orphan Sophie who is traded out of her convent to marry Cornelius, a wealthy and aging Dutch gentleman. Their marriage of convenience will provide Sophie’s fellow orphans a new life in the Americas and fill the hole in Cornelius’s heart in the shape of a child. But alas, despite his best efforts, Cornelius’s ‘little soldier’ seems ill fit to the task and thoughts of sending Sophie on her merry way after a set time has passed is mentioned. When Cornelius commissions a local artist to paint a portrait of them both, the seed of their eventually downfall is sown. Sophie falls for the handsome young painter and begins an affair.

That is essentially the crux of the film’s plot; having said that, it is an intricately woven tale, featuring multiple characters. You have the house maid, also in an illicit affair with a fish monger, and a sleazy doctor who gets drawn in to Sophie’s plight after unwanted advances. You have a drunken friend of the painter, and a world weary nun. The whole tale is interwoven through the Dutch’s obsession at the time with tulip bulbs and their almost stock market speculation. All these characters and their disparate stories come to bare when Sophie and the painter plan to run away together.

The sad thing is with all this gifted performers and some potentially meaty roles to play, it just not that interesting. Firstly the manner in which attraction is shown between Sophie and this painter is non-existent. You get a good eyeful of their writhing bodies, but how they went from a glance in a small room to tearing each other’s clothes off was lost on this reviewer. In fact many of the characters and their motivations seem off kilter and completely unrelatable. Christoph Waltz is one of those actors that can make nearly anything sound good, but his Cornelius is maybe the greatest example of this story’s downfall: none of them are likable. Every character has been muddied with convolution instead of depth, which I assume is what was being attempted. Their shades of grey do not add depth, or relatability, and leave one scratching their head to understand the choices made by each.

The one thing that is resoundingly splendid is the production design. The costumes and the sets are so beautifully crafted, one may assume they stepped into a time machine and went shopping in the 17th Century.

The trailer makes this film seem interesting. If you are into things that look pretty, maybe give this a turn. If you’re after people to like as you follow them through this attractive world, move along.

Tulip Fever (2017) - Blur-ay Review

MPAA Rating: R for sexual content and nudity.
105 mins
: Justin Chadwick
Deborah Moggach, Tom Stoppard
Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O'Connell
: Drama | Romance
Tulip Fever.
Memorable Movie Quote: "First to flower, first to fall."
Theatrical Distributor:
The Weinstein Company
Official Site: www.facebook.com/TulipFeverFilm/
Release Date:
September 1, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 28, 2017
Synopsis: An artist falls for a young married woman while he's commissioned to paint her portrait during the Tulip mania of 17th century Amsterdam.

Tulip Fever (2017) - Blur-ay Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate Films
Available on Blu-ray
- November 28, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH, Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc; UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; Digital copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Not much to write. The MPEG-4 AVC encode replicates the 2K scan with rich precision. It looks great! The sound is a more subtle but still excellent DTS-HD 5.1 mix, that focuses more on the centre channel for its duration, although in crowd scenes balances well and immerses.



  • None

Special Features:

  • Brief. A crap minutes long ‘featurette’.      

Tulip Fever (2017) - Blur-ay Review

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