For someone whose looks are striking and malleable, but not particularly classic, Swedish Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander is in danger of becoming the next Keira Knightley. Vikander seems set on overtaking the reigning queen of the period drama, as she fast establishes herself as a European woman for hire in films like The Danish Girl, Testament of Youth and A Royal Affair. Her latest - a sumptuously costumed and shot 17th century drama located during a period of tulip mania in Amsterdam - is a tale of adulterous love that at first glance, has a lot in common with 2012's Anna Karenina, a film that both Vikander, Cara Delevingne and Knightley starred in.
Based on the novel of the same name by Deborah Moggach with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love, Anna Karenina), Tulip Fever chronicles the life of Sophia (Alicia Vikander), the young and beautiful wife of a much older husband Cornelis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz). When a young painter Jan van Loo (Dane DeHaan) is commissioned to paint Sophia's portrait, a passionate love affair begins, and much hand-wringing, scheming and... uh, tulip selling ensues (hence the name).
The film sits in the hands of Justin Chadwick, who's had experience directing hot young things in corsets when he directed Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman in 2008's Tudor England tale The Other Boleyn Girl. It's also notable for starring Judi Dench, Cara Delevingne as - what else? - an artist's model, Prince Harry's ex Cressida Bonas, Holliday Granger, Jack O'Connell, Zach Galifianakis and Daisy Lowe.
Tulip Fever is out July 15 in the US, watch this space for updates on the Australian release.