A Little Chaos is a 2014 period drama. The British film was released in April of 2015. The reviews were mixed and it is fairly easy to see why. The film stars, Matthias Schoenaerts, as Andre Le Notre, and Kate Winslet, as Sabine De Barra. The pair are landscapers and architects. When Andre is enlisted by King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman) of France to design his gardens in Versailles, he is forced to hire a helper. After a few interviews and contemplation, he finally settles for the somewhat awkward Sabine.
Throughout the film, it is revealed that both are living with torment. Sabine has a history, which is filled with death and sorrow. Of course, she keeps all of this bottled up, until the very end. Meanwhile, Andre has his own troubles. Andre has a tumultuous relationship with his current wife, Madame Francoise Le Notre (Helen McCrory, Peaky Blinders). The pair are obviously not happy together, but remain together nonetheless.
Although initially shunned and looked down upon, Sabine is eventually accepted into the group, due to her hard work and dedication. She is tasked with designing a fountain arena, which will be used as a ball room. Eventually, Sabine and Andre grow much closer and Madame Francoise grows angry. She confronts Sabine and enlists one of her henchmen to destroy the arena out of jealously. Of course, Andre finds out about her devious behavior and confronts her directly. In order to prevent giving away spoilers, we’ll end it there.
A Little Chaos Movie Review
The A Little Chaos film is okay, but nothing that will be remembered for years to come. There is a lot to like about the movie, but it is also flawed terribly in a few aspects. The overall premise is wonderful and very unique. There are few movies, which tackle landscapers and architects, during this time period. Also, the acting is top notch, with Matthias Schoenaerts, Helen McCrory and Rupert Penry-Jones adding to the depth. Also, Alan Rickman was excellent, as the King.
Unfortunately, the movie’s biggest flaw is the casting. As good as Helen McCrory is as an actress, she just didn’t fit into the relationship. She acted it wonderfully and I love her in Peaky Blinders, but she appeared to be much too old for Matthias. Thankfully, this was barely noticeable, since the pair weren’t on screen together too much.
Unfortunately, it was terribly difficult to ignore Kate Winslet, who didn’t fit the role at all. Kate should be commended for her refusal to fall prey to the deviants of Hollywood. Still, she felt like somewhat of a distraction throughout the film. Although she acted it great, she appeared to be out of place and awkward. When working the fields, it was obvious she wasn’t built for it or even trying for that matter. Better suited costumes would’ve make this much less noticeable.
Also, the end of the film seemed rushed terribly. The completion of the arena was a little too easy for my liking. After it was partially destroyed, it was never worked on again, until it was miraculously completed. There were 2 potentially tearful moments, but it wasn’t very uplifting. The conclusion was very predictable and the film wound up being somewhat anti-clamatic. Overall, this is one that can be skipped, unless you love Winslet or Matthias. Just don’t expect it to be the best for either. A 6 out of 10 is deserved.