Chaos theory proposes a handsome costume treat at Royston Picture Palace this weekend

A Little Chaos

A Little Chaos - Credit: Photograph: Moviestore/REX Shutt

Isn’t it time you bought a little chaos into your life? Or at least A Little Chaos?

The intriguing title of the handsome costume drama which will be screened twice at Royston’s Picture Palace this week refers to the dash of devilment which is added to the formal spectacle of the state gardens at Versailles when free thinker Kate Winslet is asked to get involved.

This star-studded effort – also in the cast are Matthias Schoenaerts, Stanley Tucci and Alan Rickman, who directs, too – is a period romance which imagines what happened when Louis XIV (Richman again) in splendid wig – commanded his star landscape gardener Andre le Notre to create the Rockwork Grove, a unique element of the Versailles gardens.

Louis wants an outdoor ballroom as part of his grand expansion plans, and Andre turns to outsider Sabine De Barra for a dash of inspiration.

As first such a loose cannon is unsettling amid the strictures of 17th century court life, but soon Andre begins to appreciate what she can bring to the table.


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Critics have described it as slow and sedate, modestly enjoyable and with the mildest of feminist agendas.

Winslet is convincing as the Charlie Dimmock of her day, earthy and passionate about planting, while hunky Schoenaerts – also featuring in current release Far From The Madding Crowd and in the cast of recent hit Suite Francaise, but probably still best known for his turn in 2012’s Rust And Bone – turns in a measured performance as the central Capability Brun figure.

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Richman steals a few scenes, as you’d expect, but it’s Winslet who carries the film although it’s too slight a tale make that an overwhelming burden.

There are screenings on Friday and Saturday night, visit www.roystonpicturepalace.org.uk for full programme details.

On the general release front, feelgood is to the fore with the sequel to surprise hit Pitch Perfect.

It’s no surprise that the misfit misses with the peachy pipes are now moving on to the international stage, because that’s always what happens the second time around.

Familiar faces from the first film abound, and the story seems pretty familiar, too – but it’s the slick singing that saves it.

Then there’s A Royal Night Out, the allegedly true story of what happened when our own dear queen and her sister slipped into the crowds during the VE Day celebrations 70 years ago. Timely and deeply tasteful.

Also shunted back a week is the Mad Max reboot, still directed by George Miller after all these years but with Tom Hardy taking over the central role.

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