All along I’ve been getting an “oh, God, no” feeling from Tulip Fever (Weinstein Co., 9.1) — a conviction that the 17th Century Amsterdam milieu is too far removed from my own, that it has nothing to say to me. The principal symbol of that apartness is the ruff, or that ridiculous ornate collar that men and women wore between the mid 16th and mid 17th Century, and which Christoph Waltz is seen wearing in a couple of scenes from the trailer. I saw Waltz surrounded by that absurd neck wear and I went “nope…can’t do this.” If I’d been director Justin Chadwick, I would have said to my costume designer, “I don’t care how inaccurate this is, but my actors are not wearing those awful ruffs…create something else, anything else. Audiences will take one look at Waltz and they’ll laugh.”
Christoph Waltz’s neck surrounded by a white ruff, a staple of mid-17th Century fashion in the Netherlands.