‘Landscape gardener charms all she meets with fresh approaches to shrubbery’ is a synopsis that will set few pulses racing.

Rickman’s first directorial effort since 1997, however, is a solid piece of period drama led superbly by Winslet. A veteran of the genre, she is charming and spirited as she navigates the dangerous corridors of French royal power.

Schoenaerts is also impressive as love interest André, adding to his dramatic range after more macho breakthrough roles in the likes of Rust & Bone.

Rickman and Tucci are drawling, flamboyant caricatures but the comedy on display from two such pros is flawless.

The topic is lightweight and the script is a bit directionless, but the superb cast keep things engaging as does Peter Gregson’s beautiful score.



CAST: Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Matthias Schoenaerts, Helen McCrory, Stanley Tucci

DIRECTOR: Alan Rickman

WRITER: Alison Deegan

SYNOPSIS: A female landscape-gardener is awarded the task of constructing the grand gardens at Versailles, a position that puts her at the very centre of the court of King Louis XIV.