Wednesday 21 February 2018

A Little Chaos - 'A feast for the eyes, but bird-seed for the brain'

Drama, starring Kate Winslet, Matthias Shoenaerts, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, Helen McCrory, Jennifer Ehle. Director: Alan Rickman. Cert: 12A.

Tanya Sweeney

Child 44 isn't the only endlessly lavish period piece to hit cinemas this weekend, but Alan Rickman's Versailles-based epic is a rather different beast entirely. The usual period tropes - court dances, eye-popping frocks, curtseys - are present and correct.


Winslet plays Sabine, a landscape gardener hired to bring some magic to the Versailles gardens of Louis XIV. Where she is earthy and passionate, the women around her are 'somebodies' - proper ladies who know how to conduct themselves in society.

Winslet acts like her life depends on it, while Rickman is sufficiently majestic as Louis XIV. Tucci steals every single scene he's in as the king's campy brother, as does Joan Bergin's costume design.

Overall, A Little Chaos is watchable, if predictable. A feast for the eyes, but bird-seed for the brain.

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