First Hit: As with most period pieces it was slow in its development, yet it kept my interest to the expected conclusion.
Sabine De Barra (Kate Winslet) is a woman that has focused her single and alone life towards gardening. We learn later it wasn’t always that way, she wasn't always alone. Her work is noticed by Andre Le Norte (Matthias Schoenaerts) who is the King’s head garden designer.
King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman) decides to build the Palace of Versailles and wants the grounds to be exquisite. Andre is more conventional in his garden designs and likes organization. Sabine uses organization in a different way which includes natural flows (a little chaos). In those days, men had lovers and wives which, in this film, affects the King, Sabine and Andre in different ways.
The best scene in the film was when the King and Sabine are in an enclosed garden together and have an open peer to peer type conversation.
Winslet is great as the grieving and growing woman finding her place and love. Schoenaerts was a little too reserve for me, but that might have been the direction. Rickman is good and his natural tendency is reserved arrogance. As a King, it works. Jeremy Brock and Alison Deegan wrote this script. It’s a period piece so the dialogue is long winded, but the points they make about society in the time we’re well done. Rickman directed the film.
Overall: I enjoyed moments of the film. Those times were when the King and Sabine were in conversation.