A Little Chaos earns one compliment, but it's unfortunately a backhanded one: it’s watchable.
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Appropriately hunky but neutered of the brute sexuality he exhibited in Bullhead and Rust and Bone, Schoenaerts and his lack of bodice-busting tension with Winslet mirrors the film's transparent, often anachronistic inauthenticity.
Lovely, engaging performances keep the film’s heart beating in a sweet if sometimes listless search for Eden.
It has to be said, the performances are excellent. Winslet manages emotional honesty within anachronistic confines, and Schoenaerts escapes with dignity.
Winslet’s mix of grace, gumption and private sadness is the chief reason to keep watching, but she deserves a more dynamic film.
Too often, helmer Rickman galumphs through what’s meant to be a witty romp, underlining the script’s most obvious, rigged qualities.
There are weeds here, thorny stuff to slash through, but when A Little Chaos stays on course, there’s plenty of beautiful work to admire.
Some intriguing dialogue, and a closet full of fantastic frocks, can’t help an impressive ensemble cast save A Little Chaos from being a lackadaisical picture, far removed from anything remotely exciting as chaos.
A little more chaos might have truly lit this one up.
A classy, actorly affair, whose emphasis on bittersweet character drama over class satire is both its most striking feature and biggest missed opportunity.