A Little Chaos

A Little Chaos

Alan Rickman (2014)

112min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Romance blossoms between two landscape gardeners in this spirited costume drama. The story takes place in the 17th century at the Palace of Versailles, where King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman, who also directs) is looking to develop the now-famous gardens. Given the importance of the job, his chief designer, André Le Nôtre (Matthias Schoenaerts), recruits strong-willed widow Sabine de Barra (Kate Winslet) to help construct a lavish outdoor ballroom of sorts. If there's a criticism to be made about the story that follows, it's that the central romance isn't as engaging as it needs to be. Winslet and Schoenaerts are highly talented performers, of course, but there's very little chemistry between them. Still, there are some enjoyable individual scenes - witness Sabine having an informal chat with the King after mistaking him for a gardener - and the film isn't nearly as stilted as the set-up might suggest. In fact, it's rather charming.

Summary

A female landscape designer in 17th-century France challenges boundaries of class and gender when she is chosen by King Louis XIV to create a new garden for the palace of Versailles. She becomes romantically involved with a fellow designer, whose creative philosophy is the opposite of hers. Period drama, starring Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Stanley Tucci and Alan Rickman, who also directed.

Cast & Crew

Sabine De Barra Kate Winslet
Andre Le Notre Matthias Schoenaerts
Philippe, Duc d'Orleans Stanley Tucci
King Louis XIV Alan Rickman
Mme Le Notre Helen McCrory
Mme de Montespan Jennifer Ehle
Director Alan Rickman
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: LionsgateGuidance: Sex scenes, brief nudityAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 17 Apr 2015
Drama