A Little Chaos (Blu-ray)

August 11, 2015 4 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Having never been the biggest fan of Alan Rickman (something about his voice) or the biggest fan of period pieces, I really wasn’t looking forward to A little chaos. Then again, a little chaos never hurt anybody. All kidding aside, these films have never really done much for me. This will be my second film of this sort in a short while. The other being Madame Bovary. Rickman doesn’t just star in this film, he also directed it. Much like the way he speaks, the pacing here is about as slow as molasses. It tells the story of two landscape artists who become romantically involved while building a garden in King Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles. Rickman plays King Louis. The landscape designer put in charge is Andre Le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts), and it takes some research, but he decides to hire Sabine de Barra (Kate Winslet). The two begin working together, and the romantic relationship soon begins.

While this genre doesn’t appeal to me, there have been exceptions. Sadly, this film isn’t one exception. It’s not only a somber and downbeat film, but also one that failed to interest me in the least. It’s not necessarily the acting, but the pacing and tone that failed to keep me with it. There were moments where the film showed potential, but sadly those were too few and far between. Winslet is always a fairly consistent actress, and she does fine work here, but the film is what lets her down. There was just too much meandering for me to go with it. A talented cast can’t save this dull and slow film.

Video: How’s it look?

The included 2.40:1 AVC HD image has several moments of glory, though an equal amount of somewhat “iffy” moments that left me scratching my head. The wide image showcases a variety of things that look lovely on screen, be it period clothing, intricate architecture and even the leaves of a tree looking immaculate. However some of the scenes look a bit washed out and I caught a few instances of some noise in the shadows. This is nothing too major, but for a new to Blu-ray film, I’d have expected a bit more. Still, the transfer as a whole shouldn’t disappoint due to these few and far between instances.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The DTS HD Master Audio sound mix is nothing to write home about, as is standard with some of these “period” pieces, the vocals take front and center (pun fully intended). To be sure, this is exactly the kind of mix you’d expect to find on a movie of this type. Rickman’s soft-spoken voice carries well as do the other major players and surrounds, used sparingly, do add a bit of depth to certain scenes. The front stage carries most of the burden and it makes for a good, but not great, mix.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Hope you like the film, because apart from a Digital HD Copy of the movie, it’s void of supplemental material.

The Bottom Line

Well-acted, but also slow and dull, A Little Chaos could’ve used a little energy or something. There are small glimpses of a good film here, but the plot keeps meandering to the point where I became disinterested. Skip it.

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