It’s always a pleasure to see a historical film set in the Court of the Sun King. A Little Chaos, staring Kate Winslet, promises to be sumptuous. I always take issue with the portrayals because I have my own vision of these characters. None the less, I’m eager to watch it, especially to see how Versailles is portrayed in its early days.
The story of A Little Chaos
Madame Sabine De Barra (Kate Winslet) is an unlikely candidate for landscape architect of the still-to-be-completed Palace of Versailles. She has little time for the classical, ordered designs of the man who hires her, the famous architect Le Nôtre (Matthias Schoenaerts). However, as she works on her creation, she finds herself drawn to the enigmatic Le Nôtre and forced to negotiate the perilous rivalries and intricate etiquette of the court of King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman). But Sabine is made of strong stuff; her honesty and compassion help her to overcome both the challenges of her newfound popularity, and an unspeakable tragedy from her past, to win the favour of the Sun King and the heart of Le Nôtre.
Oh, how this makes me long to see such a movie about Claudette or Petite!
Since I wrote this post, and since A Little Chaos has come out there have been mixed reviews. One objection is that the real story of Le Nôtre is quite interesting enough without tarting it up with a love interest. He was the most steady and loyal of men.
From the Guardian: A Little Chaos: leads historical accuracy down the garden path
Only 6.5 on IMDb: too bad!
From the BBC: Costume drama A Little Chaos fails to blossom
Nonetheless, I can’t wait to see A Little Chaos. Have you seen it? What did you think?