The Highs and Lows of a Horticulturist – ★★★
Seventeen years ago was the last time Alan Rickman sat behind the camera to direct a film which makes A Little Chaos a rare flower indeed. He also plays the role of Louis the XIV in his tale of love between two landscape gardeners tasked with designing a new garden at the recently constructed Palace of Versailles.
Kate Winslet plays Sabine De Barra, a gardener who is not afraid to go toe to toe with the male contemporaries of the time with her somewhat unconventional ideas. Many are vying for the chance to construct a new garden at the Palace of Versailles under the stewardship of the renowned landscape gardener André le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts). André sees something in Sabine and awards her the arduous task of impressing the King.
We then get a standard overcoming of obstacles tale with nothing too worrying ever really presenting itself which leaves more than enough time for the love to blossom between Sabine and André. All the performances are fine with an excellant cameo from Stanley Tucci. The film has it’s tongue pressed firmly in it’s cheek when not in someones elses mouth. Not as saucy as Dangerous Liaisons or dramatic as Pride and Prejudice, A Little Chaos falls somewhere in between the two.
It’s a light, fun affair that has little grounding in reality yet has much warmth and heart. The stand out scene coming when the women asked to court discuss their lost loved ones. There are worse ways to spend an evening than with an imaginary escape to a time long since past.
A Little Chaos opens nationwide April 17th