Credit: Alex Bailey

A Little Chaos

It’s been eons since Kate Winslet strapped on a corset for a frippery-festooned period drama. So there’s a welcome sense of déjà vu seeing her in director Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos. Winslet stars as Sabine de Barra, a widowed landscape architect hired by Louis XIV’s resident designer (Matthias Schoenaerts) to build an outdoor ballroom at Versailles. The French king, played by Rickman, says the project should be “a window to perfection.” The only problem is that Schoenaerts’ André is a fan of order, while Sabine’s ideas are more radical when it comes to taming nature. It’s only a matter of time before that corset’s uncinched and the two find common ground in the boudoir. Winslet lends the film her usual brass and class, and Rickman is a droll, bewigged delight. But although the film is made with craft and care, its tale of repressed passion is too predictable. It could have used a little more chaos. B–

A Little Chaos
  • Movie
  • 112 minutes