Jan van Loos a young artist falls in love with the young married woman he is painting along her husband. During the Tulip mania in Amsterdam in the 17th Century.
Sophia Sandvoort was orphaned and forced to marry a rich and powerful merchant in Cornelis. Not something she wanted to do at all, but it saved her from a horrible life. Or did it? Her existence was pretty horrible as he wants a child which leads to some very awkward sex scenes (almost every night) it is clear that Sophia does not have any interest in him. She doesn’t seem able to get pregnant either. Her thoughts on love and sex will change when she meets Jan the artist and she cannot cope with her feelings towards him.
Along with this as the main storyline I actually preferred the love story between Maria who was the maid and Willem Brok a fish mongerer who learnt very quickly how buying and selling the tulip bulbs was a very tough game. I thought this sub plot was a much better story and the performances from Holliday Grainger and Jack O’Connell really were the stand out moments. That love just felt more real and less forced. Even if Willem does see something wrong and then lose all of his money and ends up out a sea when picking a fight.
Considering Sophia is her boss so to speak she gets on well with Maria, but when she confesses that she is pregnant and with Willem gone no chance to marry the father of her child. To stop her husband throwing the young girl out, they decide to do a swap and claim the baby is there’s. With the help of Dr Sorgh who is not a nice man in all honesty, but another role for Tom Hollander to really show how talented he is. I have seriously enjoyed his performances in so many different roles now.
With those twists and turns and everything depending on the Tulip business it is a very slow burner of a film and I found it tough to stay fully interested in all honesty. The main thing I could not help but notice was the fact that this film has a truly mixed bag of a cast. Even Johnny Vegas turns up? Yes, the British comedian has a very small role. I thought it was a shame Matthew Morrison was not given more, after spending a few minutes trying to decide if I thought it was him or not. Zach Galigianakis attempting a more serious style role which was not really very good. Something we could have had more of though was Judi Dench as Abbess what a character she was! Right in the thick of the Tulip business.
It just all felt a little bit bland and even the climax wasn’t really that exciting. I think it was more exciting to know that the film was almost finished after waiting for more to happen and it never really does. I guess people paying loads of money for a tulip bulb was never going to be the most exciting thing in the world.