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Vatel

Vatel (2000)

tomatometer

27

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 8

Visually sumptuous, but unengaging.

audience

62

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 4,346

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1671, Francois Vatel, a master chef, entertainer and steward, is hired by the Prince de Conde to prepare an important feast for the upcoming arrival of King Louis XIV. However, it will take nothing short of a miracle to prepare a fete fitting for royalty while Conde's provinces rest on the verge of financial ruin. Vatel, however, is a culinary genius possessing a heightened sense of resourcefulness with which to resolve each new crisis that threatens to damper the festivities. He is caught

Aug 7, 2001

Miramax

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All Critics (36) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (22) | DVD (4)

It's too turgid with its own upholstered pomp.

September 26, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This putrid dish marks a new low for director Roland Joffe.

February 16, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's just deadly, deadly dull.

January 10, 2001 Full Review Source: CNN.com | Comment (1)
CNN.com
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A costume drama with far more costumes than drama.

December 25, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A landmark in world cinema not merely for sheer grandeur but also attention to dense authenticity.

December 25, 2000 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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An improbable, if sumptuous, bore.

December 22, 2000 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Una cinta digna de verse, y visualmente deliciosa.

February 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Cinenganos
Cinenganos

Period costume dramas are always expected to offer opulent pageantry, but in the case of Vatel, that's all there is.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

The richest and most intriguing portrait of period piece duty and subjugated happiness since The Remains of the Day.

September 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

A costume drama with all costume and no drama.

April 16, 2002
Hollywood Bitchslap

It lacks an understanding of the harmonies and contrasts in the very society he is trying to expose to ridicule.

October 1, 2001 Full Review Source: Jacksonville Film Journal
Jacksonville Film Journal

Decadence befitting a dozen kings

August 12, 2001 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

May be opulent, but it's not deep.

March 5, 2001 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

Joffe's extravaganza is a hollow, if pretty, shell.

February 23, 2001 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

For all the opulence, there's a distinct overall glumness in tone.

February 7, 2001 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A completely unnecessary movie.

January 11, 2001
Greenwich Village Gazette

It'll likely earn Oscar consideration for its visual aspects, but no one will probably remember anything else about it.

December 25, 2000 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

The dialogue (polished by Tom Stoppard, no less) strains for a wit it never achieves.

December 24, 2000 Full Review Source: Citysearch
Citysearch

A banquet for the eyes.

December 22, 2000 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

For all the brilliant production design that went into this thing, you'd have thought they'd remember to include some warm-blooded characters with expressions on their faces.

December 22, 2000 Full Review Source: IFilm
IFilm

Audience Reviews for Vatel

A quite entertaining costume drama filled with intrigue and debauchery. Integrity was highly prized and rarely found in the court of Louis XIV. Vatel (Gerard Depardieu) is in charge of providing lavish entertainment and banquets for the king's visit and discharges his duties without flaw. So much so, that his services are required at Versailles, but at a cost too dear for this man of humble origins. The cast is superb (Thurman and Roth bear special mention), the scenery is extravagent, and the story has enough twists and turns to keep the viewer engaged for its near two hour length. The costuming and sets alone are worth the price of admission. At a time when a king's displeasure was paid for with one's life, and honor often took a back seat to expediency, a man like Vatel invited envy as well as admiration. And in rare instances the affections of a lady.
July 30, 2009
Mark Abell

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