Archive for the ‘Alan Rickman’ Category

The Gardens of Versailles

A Little Chaos

a little_chaos

Director: Alan Rickman

Cast: Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Ehle, Helen McCrory, Steven Waddington, Rupert Penry-Jones

There is a growing trend for actors to get behind the camera and direct. Alan Rickman, the English actor who first appeared in Die Hard and then in The Harry Potter films, stars in and directs A Little Chaos, a charming and delightful tale about the ambitious construction of the Gardens of Versailles in the late 17th Century by King Louis XIV, wonderfully played by Rickman.

Oscar winner Kate Winslet (The Reader) stars a reluctant landscape gardener Sabine de Barra hired by the chief landscape architect Andre played by rising Belgian star Mathias Schoenaerts (Far From the Madding Crowd) who needs a suitable distraction away from his scheming wife  Madame Le Notre wonderfully played by Helen McCrory (Skyfall). Stanley Tucci as the Duc of Orleans (The Devil Wears Prada) and Jennifer Ehle (Possession, Contagion) as Madame de Montespan make brief appearances as the French king’s brother and mistress respectively.

A Little Chaos is a wonderful, if at times slow moving tale of how one woman recovers from a horrible tragedy to reinvent herself as one of the chief designers of the intricate water features which comprise the huge and illustrious Gardens of Versailles, which ultimately elevated landscape gardens to unimaginable heights.

There is a superb scene between Winslet and Rickman in a Pear Orchard where she comes across the French king mistaking him for a fruit expert and they soon bare their souls to each other and give very resonant reasons for wanting to embark on building such an elaborate project.

King Louis XIV’s pivotal decision to move the French court outside of Paris to Versailles was more a way of deepening  the chasm which separated the nobility from the peasantry. As the Duc of Orleans so comically puts it, Court is like a whole bunch of mice trapped in a castle, for none of the eligible nobility could leave the Palace without the King’s gracious permission.

a little_chaos_ver2

Naturally this divide was to become France’s ultimate toppling of the royalty a hundred years later as beautifully told in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.

marie_antoinette_ver3

A Little Chaos is more about the machinations at court, the humble rise of a prominent and creative woman, who chose to take on a task in a man’s world, riddled with jealousy, doubt and deception. Kate Winslet adds a serenity to the role of de Barra  while Schoenaerts ‘s role as Andre le Notre is unfortunately underwritten to the film’s detriment, making their onscreen coupling less believable than it should be.

dangerous_liaisons

As a film, A Little Chaos, could have had a firmer more visionary director, yet its very genteel subject matter that of gardening and love make up for the slightly inert narrative. As cinema goes, this film is no match for the brilliant Stephen Frears’s Oscar winning masterpiece Dangerous Liaisons but while it is less sophisticated and complex, A Little Chaos is pleasant and beautiful to watch.

Recommended viewing for those that love historical dramas without too much angst, yet appreciate the fascinating story behind the origins of the sumptuous Gardens of Versailles.

 

 

 

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
January 2020
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
  • Ann Yeardye Asks $19.5 Million for Ultra-Secluded Beverly Hills Villa
    A remarkably private estate tucked into the mountains above Beverly Hills has debuted on the market, packing an aggressive but perhaps not entirely unreasonable $19.5 million pricetag. Long owned by the 1960s Chanel model Ann Davis Yeardye, the house is sited in a celeb-friendly pocket of the Beverly Hills Post Office area and is totally […]
    PMC
  • Italy’s Meduza, Dutch singer Naaz Among Winners at Music Moves Europe Talent Awards
    Italian electronic producers Meduza, Norway’s Girl In Red, and Dutch singer Naaz (pictured) were among the winners at the second annual Music Moves Europe Talent Awards, which took place Friday, Jan. 17 in the Netherlands. The honor, formerly known as the European Border Breakers Award (EBBA), went to eight artists in total, as well as […]
    Shirley Halperin
  • ‘Parasite’ Makes History as First Foreign Language Film to Win Top Prize Ace Eddie Awards
    “Parasite” made history on Friday night when it became the first Foreign Language film to win the top prize at the Ace Eddie Awards. Editor Jinmo Yang was recognized for his work on Bong Joon Ho’s drama. Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy), went to”Jojo Rabbit editor, Tom Eagles won. The Ace Eddie Awards recognizes editors […]
    jazztangcay
  • ‘Parasite,’ ‘Jojo Rabbit’ Win ACE Eddie Awards for Top Feature Films
    “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit” have won the top feature film trophies at the 70th Annual ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Jinmo Yang won the dramatic feature category for “Parasite” over “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” and “Marriage Story.” The victory marks the first time in ACE Eddie Awards history that a […]
    Dave McNary
  • Ken Tales Gone Wild: David Wild Dishes on 20 Years With Grammy Legend Ken Ehrlich
    A lot will be said in the days and years to come about all the amazing and unforgettable Grammy Moments that Ken Ehrlich has somehow made happen decade after decade live on the Grammy Awards. Likely, a lot of it has already been said by my longtime mentor and lifelong friend Ken himself to Chris Willman […]
    chrislwillman
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90