Justin Chadwick’s last feature-length outing was Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, the Nelson Mandela biopic starring Idris Elba, but his first feature film was The Other Boleyn Girl, an impassioned tale of life behind the scenes of Henry VIII’s reign, which starred Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana, and Kristin Scott-Thomas, and was adapted from Philippa Gregory’s best-selling historical novel. Here, with Tulip Fever, Chadwick returns to the realm of melodramatic historical fiction, but this time he’s adapted Deborah Moggach’s “sumptuous and enthralling” novel, and the action is set in 17th-century Holland when “tulip mania” was at its peak and the Dutch Golden Age was very much in effect. Like Peter Webber’s Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003), Chadwick’s film is simultaneously a tale of love and betrayal, and a study of art, commerce, and power. Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz star, and Dane DeHaan plays the young artist who falls in love with the married woman her husband has hired him to paint.
-Anthony Kinik, Contributor