A fictional period drama following the work of Sabine de Barra (Kate Winslet), a landscape gardener tasked with making the outdoor ballroom at Versailles. She falls for her superior, and has to contend with class barriers as well as memories from her past.
This is well trodden territory, especially in British cinema; the period piece is a staple of the industry. It’s a shame then that this film brings very little new material to the table. The plot straddles an interesting line between fantasy and reality; the ballroom is real as are many of the characters in the film, but the lead character is not.
However, the film never exploits any of the opportunities this might present, instead choosing to stay grounded in a boring version of reality. Why make a boring fictional character when you might as well tell the story as it actually happened?
Winslet is likeable in her role, as are the supporting cast, but overall this is an uninspired piece of work from Rickman. A Little Chaos gets caught between the garden, the social workings of the elite and the romance between De Barra and her colleague. The end result is a confused film that fails to commit either way. A wishy-washy wisp of a movie.