A Little Chaos – the movie title sounds like it could be a ridiculous follow up to Step Brothers where Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly) have to babysit their parent’s newborn or a disaster flick where a tornado wipes out the only traffic light in a small town… ahhhh, traffic. It’s neither (sigh), but actually the 100th costume drama that Kate Winslet will star in set to premiere in select cities March 27, 2015.
One of our favorite English roses will once again don a corset for a film that looks more stuffed with romance than if how somehow mixed the Notebook with Pride & Prejudice and topped it off with Bridget Jones’s Diary. It has all the swoon-worthy elements: forbidden love, France (before they started beheading people), court intrigue, sorbet-colored gowns, a long-haired dreamboat, royalty, and flowers – lots and lots of flowers.
Directing the film is Alan Rickman, who has previously starred with Winslet in Sense and Sensibility, but you might recognize him more as Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series. This will be the director’s second time in the chair, Winter Guest, being his debut.
Winslet plays Sabine De Barra, a strong-willed landscape architect who lands the plum assignment of designing King Louis XIV’s (played by Alan Rickman) Versailles gardens. Apparently, being a woman and of a lower class stirs up the gossip in the royal court, as well as the desires of esteemed landscaper André Le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts) – he’s the long-haired dreamboat. Winslet is known for taking on risky roles (e.g. The Reader), so it’s a little surprising to see her in something that looks equivalent to a paperback romance. But hey, maybe ‘paperback romance’ is on her character bucket list.
As for the teaser, it could have done better. After a series of stolen glances between Winslet and Schoenaerts, it starts to get a little dull until Stanley Tucci’s flamboyant entrance. The Focus Features film does appear gorgeously shot though with its sumptuous colors, lush country sides, and dreamy interpretation of Versailles thanks to cinematographer Ellen Kuras and production designer James Merifield. Kuras looked to the Arricam LT and Arriflex 235 with Cooke S4 and Angenieux Optimo lenses to bring the exquisite landscapes to life. On the production sound side to this dialogue driven narrative is mixer Gareth John with booms Steve Fin and Tom Harrison. Danny Sheehan is serving as supervising editor, re-recording mixer.
While the images are unsurpassable and beautiful, the story thus far seems a little hackneyed for such a caliber cast. Let’s hope this is just a badly cut trailer and there’s more to Rickman’s narrative.