Famed builder Le Notre is tasked with building an ethereal palace for King Louis XIV (Rickman) that transcends beauty. Le Notre hires Sabine de Barra (Winslet) to design and construct the outdoor ballroom, and is soon captivated by her beauty. Sabine is equally enthralled by Le Notre though she is struggling to deal with her past. Through the trials of building the garden the two starving artists come together.Written by
Kate Winslet hid sick bags under her dresses to cope with morning sickness. She worked with costume designer Joan Bergin to slowly tweak the costumes to accommodate her pregnancy. See more »
In the beginning of the film Louis XIV is surrounded by his children in his bedroom. One of his young daughters is wearing a very modern, 21st century 'bob' hairstyle while her sisters have very long hair which would have been correct for the period. See more »
OK, OK, the "professional" reviews are tepid, but for my taste, A Little Chaos is a perfect summertime movie. No heavy themes, impeccable acting (Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Stanley Tucci, and Alan Rickman), beautiful scenery, and gorgeous late 17th c. costumes. It's one of those movies where you can sink into the cushioned theater seats, breathe the welcome air-conditioning, and let the film wash over you. No heavy mental or emotional lifting required. The premise is that on a ridiculously short timetable and budget, France's Louis XIV, the Sun King, has decreed that paradisaical gardens be created to expand the grounds at his Versailles palace. Garden design has been placed in the reliable hands of André Le Nôtre (Schoenaerts), a proponent of order in the landscape. His plans include an elaborate display of fountains. But he needs help. After interviewing numerous candidates, he chooses the wildly fictional Madame Sabine de Barra (Winslet) to create the garden's ballroom, for the reason that she will introduce new ideas (a shaky premise, there)—and, as the title suggests, a little chaos. The two of them are attracted to each other, but have vastly different temperaments and face a fairly predictable set of obstacles. Critics who pooh-pooh the film as a failed feminist fable miss its many pleasures: the absurd courtiers, Stanley Tucci as the king's gay brother, the interplay among the women when they're alone behind closed doors, scenery to drool over, the joy of bringing dirt and greenery to beautiful life, and, especially, Alan Rickman playing Louis XIV—"a character worthy of his imperious, reptilian charisma," as Stephen Holden said in the New York Times. Rickman directed and helped write the film, too. "Acting should be about risky projects as much as it can be about entertaining," he told Joe Neumaier at the New York Daily News. "The risk is what makes you want to do it." Bringing to life characters from another culture and long-past century in a revisionist history confection is almost as risky as thinking you can make water dance. The real Salle de Bal (the Bosquet des Rocailles) at Versailles was inaugurated in 1685 and is the gardens' only surviving cascade. If you don't go with inflated expectations you won't be disappointed. You will be well pleased.
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