Please let this movie be as wonderful as I want it to be.

It is a rare thing for me to so anticipate watching a movie that those words run through my mind as I’m about to press Play. I randomly watched the trailer for A Little Chaos on YouTube and fell instantly in love. I bought the DVD as soon as I saw it in a store and watched it as soon as I had a chance. I found myself holding my breath, afraid it wouldn’t live up to the promise of a single, brief trailer.

A Little Chaos is my idea of a nearly perfect movie. As I held my breath, it held my attention. Its elegance and grace swept across the screen, with a mix of grandeur and simplicity. The king of France and a lady landscape designer are at the heart of this heartfelt story, though they each love someone else. They meet on a plane filled with grief and loss and…flowers. And in their unique way, dictated by their time and the constraints that places on them, they help each other find happiness and fulfillment.

The great and beautiful Palace of Versailles is home to some of the most famous gardens in the world. I say some, not one, because the massive grounds showcase a wide variety of styles and designs of decorative landscaping. It is a place of magical beauty that cries out for admiration, even as its tragic history demands somber reflection. I know. I’ve been there and felt its dual pull.

It’s the having been there part that makes me nervous about movies dealing with places I’ve seen for myself. I adore Versailles and desperately wanted A Little Chaos to enhance that, without taking anything away. It succeeded beautifully.

My personal hopes and expectations aside, it was just my kind of movie. Gorgeous, gorgeous…did I say gorgeous yet? Imagery. Soundtrack. Cinematography. Acting. Direction. The only small mark against it was a very slight annoyance with the dialogue. A few times a question went unanswered or a statement fell out into the shimmery atmosphere that seemed unnecessary. Something like that will bother me if my attention gets snagged, but it’s a very minor thing.

Two scenes were my favorites. The first is when Sabine encounters the mourning king, mistakes him for a gardener, invades his privacy, and finds a kindred spirit in the slight, soft spoken man bereft of wig or crown. The other is the end, when she dances with the king in the heart of her creation. It was so very easy to imagine the true story as it took place in the past, peopled by familiar faces of actors transformed.

Alan Rickman cowrote and directed this low key masterpiece. I hope he is as proud of his creation, as I am thrilled to experience it

A Little Chaos left me feeling  transported into the past. It was as if I’d been given a rare opportunity to visit a place I love, as it came into being. I just watched it, and can’t quite extract my head from it. I feel as if just a tiny piece of me is roaming the gardens of Versailles, reluctant to pull away and leave it for the world of now. That to me is a movie experience all too rare.

A Little Chaos Trailer # 1

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