Tag Archives: Matthias Schoenaerts

A Little Chaos Review

Chaos is not always a bad thing. It leads to change, which leads to new opportunities.

A Little Chaos is about the creation of the garden of Versailles and the landscape artists who helped to build the garden.

Alan Rickman pulls triple duty on this film. Director, co-screenwriter and stars as Louie XIV. Matthias Schoenaerts is Andre Le Notre, who is trusted with the task of building the gardens. Kate Winslet is Sabine De Barra, a widowed gardener who works with Andre to build the garden.

As Andre and Sabine work together to create the garden, forces are plotting to prevent the garden from being completed. Andre’s spiteful wife, Madame Le Notre (Helen McCrory) sees Sabine as a rival and is more than eager to sabotage her success. Louie is willing to take a gamble on garden, but will the vision become reality?

This movie is phenomenal. Twenty years after Sense and Sensibility, the chemistry between Rickman and Winslet is still there.  In the lead roles of Sabine and Andre, Winslet and Schoenaerts have the solid chemistry that makes a historical romantic drama believable.  And for my fellow Janeite’s, the Austen connection goes beyond Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet. Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice), Rupert Penry-Jones (Persuasion) and Phyllida Law (Emma, Miss Austen Regrets) all have roles in this film.

I absolutely recommend it.

A Little Chaos is presently in theaters. 

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Filed under Books, Emma, History, Jane Austen, Movie Review, Movies, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility

Far From The Madding Crowd Review

Literature is filled with tales of life, romance, drama and marriage.

Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel, Far From The Madding Crowd is about all of the above. Add in a strong, complicated and thoroughly human heroine in Bathsheba Everdene and you have a novel that stands out in a sea of classics. The latest adaptation of the novel premiered in May.

Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is a unique young woman. She has just inherited her recently deceased uncle’s farm. In addition to now being an heiress and a landowner, Bathsheba has received attention and/or marriage proposals from three distinct men.  Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts) is the John Wayne of the three suitors: nearly silent, strong and steady. Sergeant Francis Troy (Tom Sturridge) is the army officer who looks good in uniform, but may turn out to be a flash in the pan.  William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) would be the standard choice of a husband for a woman like Bathsheba. William is older, has a large home, a large piece of land and a steady income to his name.

Bathsheba is determined to remain single. But with such an array of men to choose from, remaining single may not happen.

I tried to read the book, but I could not get through it. So, to be fair, this review is strictly based on this adaptation. Carey Mulligan has proved once again why she is one the best young actresses around. Classy, intelligent and always choosing to play a variety of characters, I predict that Ms. Mulligan will do very well come award season. Among the co-stars that play her would be husbands, Matthias Schoenaerts is the newest BPD (British Period Drama) hottie on the block. Tom Sturridge as Sergeant Troy is the Wickham (harking back to the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, where Ms. Mulligan played Kitty Bennet) of FFTMC. He is handsome, says pretty things, and looks good in the uniform, but there isn’t much else to him. Michael Sheen, as William Boldwood is the standard choice for the heroine, but Bathsheba Everdene is not the standard literary heroine.

I recommend this movie.

Far From The Madding Crowd is presently in theaters. 

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Filed under Books, Feminism, Movie Review, Movies, Pride and Prejudice