I try to go see most things at the cinema even if I know I may not be particularly interested in the film, I guess I just like to be in on the discussion. However, with A Little Chaos I almost decided to give it a miss. Period dramas are far from a favourite genre of mine so I didn’t think I’d be missing much, the only thing that got me to the cinema was the fact that Stanley Tucci was a cast member, once I remembered this I thought I may as well give it a go.
A Little Chaos sees 18th Century France meet Ground Force, with Kate Winslet (Sabine De Barra) doing her best Charlie Dimmock impression. The film itself is quite simple, it follows the career of Winslet’s character and her struggle to overcome events of the past with some romance and a couple of plant pots thrown in for good measure. The film has a great cast and all of them act their parts well, none more so than Helen McCrory (Madame Le Notre). From her very first scene McCrory establishes her role in the film and it’s the scenes with her character that always intrigued me the most. She brought some life and excitement to the picture. Stanley Tucci was great too however he really does play a minor role here and could have been used more, nonetheless he is his usual self with the scenes that he does appear in. Winslet is fine in her role here but there is just something about her that I can’t quite connect with, the story of her character is engaging enough I just didn’t have the same amount of sympathy that I should have had for her. Matthias Schoenaerts has good chemistry with Winslet and delivers a competent performance. Finally there is Alan Rickman, who is well Alan Rickman.
The film itself is interesting to a point, the story focused on here doesn’t really ever have enough meat to make it engaging for the entire running time. The subplots interest the viewer for the time they are explored and as already stated McCrory’s character always demanded attention but apart from these elements there wasn’t a whole lot here. One element that really bugged me was the fact that the film is based in 18th Century France and no one was speaking French! This always baffles me in films, some manage to get away with it by integrating certain elements but here I just thought it always seemed blatantly obvious. Much to my surprise though the romance element was fixated upon, I was so thankful of this as the film quickly could have become unbearable if it had decided to go down this route. Instead this element felt believable and wasn’t irritating to watch, instead it enhanced the story telling.
As I have said period pieces are not my favourites but I imagine if you are a fan of this genre than you will enjoy A Little Chaos, Rickman has directed it well but for those who aren’t appreciative of this kind of film it could be a struggle to enjoy. Nonetheless A Little Chaos maintained my interest for most of the running time, it had a few interesting characters and solid performances all round so whilst I doubt I will revisit the movie I enjoyed what I could from it.
Rating – 6/10