A little Chaos – Movie Review
Director: Alan Rickman
Writers: Jeremy Brock, Alison Deegan, Alan Rickman
Stars: Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, Matthias Schoenaerts
Kate Winslet plays a young hot-shot landscape gardener that is awarded the best job in the land, working for King Louis XIV for his new gardens at Versailles. It is a slightly improbable tale of a woman designer taking one of the most prestigious jobs in the land, but overall designer André Le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts) sees a spark of genius in her initial designs and decides to take a chance on a new name. André and Sabine (Winslet) are thrown together in their work and out of this grows desire, but to complicate the matter, André is already married to another. Sabine is drawn into the world of the great of France, as she works on the gardens of the palace.
This is an unusual work from Rickman, as it is a combination of a fairly standard romantic comedy along with the fleshed out world of France during the 1660’s, one of the most opulent and excessive times known. The royalty of the period are played by a variety of impressive bit parts, with Stanley Tucci really catching the eye as the King’s wonderfully flamboyant brother. Rickman himself plays the King as over indulged but actually quite likeable, despite his demands for wild excess.
This is an unusual combination of worlds, as period dramas and romantic comedies rarely make good bed fellows, and the involvement of Rickman further confuses. The court with its many characters is probably the best thing about the film, and the moments where Sabine enters their world do draw you in. Sadly, the romance between Sabine and André does not, as it lurches towards its predictable ending. The saving grace is the quality of the acting on display, and if you’re a fan of the rom-com, this should tickle in all the right places.
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