In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.
During the early years of Nazi occupation of France in World War II, romance blooms between Lucile Angellier (Michelle Williams), a French villager, and Lieutenant Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts), a German soldier.
Kristin Scott Thomas,
The mixed-race daughter, Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), of Royal Navy Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) is raised by aristocratic Great-uncle Lord William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) in eighteenth century England.
Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.
A German soldier tries to determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a spy to infiltrate the home of Kaiser Wilhelm in Holland during the onset of World War II, but falls for a young Jewish Dutch woman during his investigation.
Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow-covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness.
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
The real André Le Nôtre, the landscape architect who designed the gardens of Versailles and many other palace grounds, was 25 years older than Louis XIV. The film's time-line of a year or so includes the death of Maria Theresa, Louis' queen. This occurred in 1683, when Louis was 45 and Le Nôtre was 70. At that point, Le Nôtre had been working on the gardens at Versailles for more than 20 years. See more »
When Sabine De Barra fell into the water and was carried away by the force of the water, she traveled a good distance downstream. When she went to get out of the water, it was just two arm lengths to reach the ladder. See more »
André Le Notre:
What if no one person is to blame? And what use is blame? It is enough to have that happen to you. It is enough to recover from it. That is as much as we may ask of ourselves. That is enough.
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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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