'A Little Chaos' sees Alan Rickman's return to director's chair

Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:23pm EDT
 
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By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO (Reuters) - "A Little Chaos," may be a film about the building of the gardens of Versailles set in 1682, but director Alan Rickman wants audiences to know that he does not view it as a period piece.

Rather, the movie - which will have its world premiere as the closing gala of the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday - is about the character of Sabine De Barra, a woman trying to navigate a man's world as she comes to grips with her own personal losses.

"The first words in the film are, 'Your majesty.' We don't tell you where you are, it's not important. It's not a documentary, it's not factually correct. It's not meant to be," Rickman told Reuters.

"It's as much about now as it is about then."

The now comes in the form of Sabine, a landscape architect played by Kate Winslet, tasked with creating one of the fountains at the yet to be completed palace of Versailles.

She is a character who "could not possibly have existed," said Rickman, who also plays King Louis XIV in the film.

"(The story) is very much from a woman's perspective and it happens to be about a particular society. But I think there are all sorts of modern, obvious parallels, talking about where women have no function within a society, they are there merely to be decorative," he said.

"It's there just as a thread through the film that this strong, active woman with a past and an agenda that she's having to deal with, is trying to function in a world that's completely owned and run by men."   Continued...

 
Actor Alan Rickman poses for a photo before a special family fundraising evening hosted by author J.K. Rowling in aid of her children's charity, Lumos, at the "Warner Bros. Studio - The Making of Harry Potter in Hertfordfshire" in London November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Olivia Harris