Alan Rickman’s second directorial effort is about a romance between the real French landscape architect André Le Nôtre (a listless Matthias Schoenaerts), who built the gardens at Versailles, and the fictitious female designer Sabine de Barra (a sparkling Kate Winslet) he engaged to counterbalance his perhaps overly-ordered philosophy.
Rickman plays Louis XIV, and a scene-stealing Stanley Tucci is terrific as his foppish brother. It’s a beautifully filmed and acted costume/period piece, but for a movie so named, it could have benefitted from quite a bit more of the title characteristic. Japanese title: Versailles no Kyutei Niwashi. (117 min)