A Little Chaos

June 26th, 2015


A Little Chaos

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Two talented landscape artists become romantically entangled while building a garden in King Louis XIV's palace at Versailles.

Release Year: 2014

Rating: 6.3/10 (1,354 voted)

Critic's Score: 51/100

Director: Alan Rickman

Stars: Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci

A romantic drama following Sabine, a talented landscape designer, who is building a garden at Versailles for King Louis XIV. Sabine struggles with class barriers as she becomes romantically entangled with the court's renowned landscape artist.

Writers: Jeremy Brock, Alison Deegan

Thomas Allam - Louis Alexander
Alan Rickman - King Louis XIV
Hope Hancock - Francoise Marie
Isabella Steinbarth - Louise Francoise
Hal Hewetson - Philippe
Carolina Valdés - Queen Marie-Therese
Eleanor Montgomery - Royal Nurse
Matthias Schoenaerts - André Le Notre
Danny Webb - Moulin
Kate Winslet - Sabine De Barra
Cathy Belton - Louise
Steven Waddington - Thierry Duras
Adrian Scarborough - Daniel Le Vielle
Adrian Schiller - Jean Risse
Ben Fox - Monsieur Mauve


Official Website: BBC [UK] | Official site [Japan]

Country: UK

Language: English

Release Date: 26 June 2015

Filming Locations: Black Park, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Kate Winslet's daughter Mia appears in a scene at the Louvre. She is sitting on a chair alone when Sabine walks into the room before a crowd of people follow. See more »

User Review


Rating: 9/10

Belying its title, this is a charmingly well-ordered 'chamber-piece' movie about the creation of Louis XIV's spectacular grounds at Versailles. Landscape architect Andre Le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts) recruits - a surprise in 17th-century society - a woman to design one of the garden's water features. Sabine De Barra (Kate Winslet) is a widow; Andre is married to a heartless slut (Helen McCrory); so we can expect something more than potting to be happening in the potting shed before the gardens are finished! There's a lovely scene when Sabine finds King Louis (Alan Rickman) alone and unwigged on a bench and mistakes him for the chief gardener.

I worried that A LITTLE CHAOS might be like one of Peter Greenaway's movies, a triumph of style over substance, but it's got almost as much substance as an Oscar Wilde adaptation. There's no attempt to "Frenchify" the language in the style of 'Allo 'Allo: everyone speaks accentless English. Alan Rickman (who also directed) plays the king in the grand style of Lady Bracknell, and Winslet is perfectly cast as a woman of substance and quiet wisdom. Belgium's Monsieur Schoenaerts is having a busy year and although this is role is similar to the one he had in SUITE FRANCAISE he seems more comfortable in it this time. Stanley Tucci and Jennifer Ehle play the top dogs/bitches in His Majesty's court and I'd like to have seen more of them both.

OK this movie is a bit overdone and artificial (like the gardens at Versailles), but the cast are believable and lovable, and the story delivers comedy, romance and intrigue. If you liked THE DUCHESS, you will love this.


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