Vatel (2000)




Critic Consensus: Visually sumptuous, but unengaging.

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 … More

Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content and some violence)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Tom Stoppard, Jeanne Labrune
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 7, 2001


as Francois Vatel

as Anne De Montausier

as Marquis De Lauzun

as Gourville

as Prince De Conde

as Louis XIV

as Philippe d'Orleans

as Colbert

as Dr. Bourdelot

as Princess de Conde

as Athenais de Montespa...

as Duchesse de Longuevi...

as Marquis D'Effiat

as The Queen Marie-Ther...

as Louise de la Vallier...

as Louise de la Vallier...

as Maidservant

as Sharp Equerry

as Duc de Longueville

as Lauzun's Secretary

as Comte de Mirail

as Creditor Guillaume

as Woman Creditor

as Monkey Handler

as King's Commode Valet

as Hysterical Woman

as Whipping Courtier

as Vicomte d'Amboise

as Lantern Deliveryman

as Melon Deliveryman

as Leviathan Worker

as Martin's Father

as Duchesse at the Banq...

as Woman at the Banquet

as Foot Servant

as Cavalry Officer

as Soldier at Chateau G...

as Fish Deliveryman

as Servant with Flowers

as Young Servant

as Duc d'Ambroise's Sis...

as Large Cook

as Cook's Apprentice

as Colin's Friend

as Colin's Friend

as Colin's Friend
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Vatel

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Vatel

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (13)

It's too turgid with its own upholstered pomp.

Full Review… | September 26, 2002
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

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

February 16, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

It's just deadly, deadly dull.

Full Review… | January 10, 2001
Top Critic

A costume drama with far more costumes than drama.

Full Review… | December 25, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 25, 2000
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

An improbable, if sumptuous, bore.

Full Review… | December 22, 2000
Top Critic

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.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer


A food movie, but more than that...excuse me, while I step outside and fall on my sword.

Bonus Points: Uma Thurmond


The unbelievability of Depardieu and Thurman as lovers is just one of many problems with this highly fictionalized historical drama. Though there were some interesting sets and fire-work displays, the movie is a hodge-podge of French history trivia which never pulls together to form an interesting or coherent story. There were so many other interesting (and true) tales that could have been told about this era, that the choice of trying to make Vatel worthy of a movie seems unnecessary.

Vatel Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Vatel on our Movie forum!