A Little Chaos is a film about gardening. And love. And loss. And English actors playing French people. Some of these actors come from the part of France where they sound like they are from Manchester. Others are from the posh London parts of France. One is an American Frenchman. All of this is absolutely fine because the acting is so good you never notice that you’re not watching a French film with subtitles. In fact, you’re watching Alan Rickman’s second film as director. He also stars as King Louis XIV alongside Kate Winslet as Sabine De Barra, a landscape gardener working on a section of the Versailles gardens who becomes romantically entangled with the head gardener played by Matthias Schoenaerts who is a Belgian actor and therefore the closest thing to a genuine French person in the movie. He probably speaks really good French too but that would confuse the rest of the cast so he speaks English so as not to rock the boat.
The film is a slow burner and uses the magnificence of the palace and the formality of the times to tell a simple human story about a woman dealing with loss and her place in a male dominated workplace. Kate Winslet once again shows why she is such a celebrated actress in an understated performance that evokes real emotion. The budding romance between the two leads is believable and there are similar understated turns from Rickman as a melancholy King Louis and Stanley Tucci, who is drily hilarious in the few scenes he appears in. It’s by no means a classic but if you are in an undemanding romantic mood you will find much to enjoy. Unfortunately, with the weather being so nice at the moment, mostly everyone will probably forego a trip to the cinema to enjoy the beauty and fragrance of the blossoming outdoors.
A Little Chaos is in cinemas now and you can watch the trailer below:
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Feature Image credit: The Guardian