Winslet brings order to Chaos
Kate Winslet isn’t stretched in the lead role as gardener Sabine De Barra but she brings grit and determination to her trendsetter in the gardens of the palace of Versailles.
On-screen sexual tension with Matthias Schoenaerts barely simmers, while Helen McCrory vamps it up to the hilt as the wicked wench who envies Sabine’s ability to impress powerful men with her intellect.
Director Alan Rickman downplays his beleaguered monarch and enjoys one truly delightful scene with Winslet, in which he casts off the king’s finery to mourn lost love.
The resolution of the entangled plots will surprise no one, but A Little Chaos is a hardy perennial that will weather most criticism and delivers gentle sprays of laughter and romance when it counts.
A Little Chaos is considerably more formal and predictable than the title suggests, but what this lusty period romp lacks in originality, it compensates with colourful performances and an uplifting bouquet of courtly intrigues.
Rickman sows the seeds of our simple enjoyment with a largely British cast led by Oscar-winner Winslet as a spirited landscape gardener, who refuses to kowtow to expectations or gender stereotypes.
Star rating: 6/10