Vatel (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vatel (2000)

Vatel (2000)




Critic Consensus: Visually sumptuous, but unengaging.

Vatel Trailers & Photos

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 off guard by only one unforseen factor -- the ravishing beauty of royal newcomer, the regal Anne de Montausier. Not only has she caught the king's eye but also those of Vatel and the king's nasty aide the Marquis de Lauzon. To the monarch and the marquis she is but a sexual conquest, but Vatel and Anne recognize the decency and honesty in each other, qualities in short supply in the rarefied world in which they exist.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


Gérard Depardieu
as Francois Vatel
Uma Thurman
as Anne De Montausier
Tim Roth
as Marquis De Lauzun
Timothy Spall
as Gourville
Julian Glover
as Prince De Conde
Julian Sands
as Louis XIV
Murray Lachlan Young
as Philippe d'Orleans
Richard Griffiths
as Dr. Bourdelot
Arielle Dombasle
as Princess de Conde
Marine Delterme
as Athenais de Montespa...
Philippine Leroy-Bea...
as Duchesse de Longuevi...
Jérôme Pradon
as Marquis D'Effiat
Nathalie Cerda
as The Queen Marie-Ther...
Emilie Ohana
as Louise de la Vallier...
Natacha Koutchoumov
as Louise de la Vallier...
Julie-Anne Roth
as Maidservant
Alain Stern
as Sharp Equerry
James Thierree
as Duc de Longueville
Nicholas Hawtrey
as Lauzun's Secretary
Paul Brandey
as Comte de Mirail
David Gablson
as Creditor Guillaume
Louise Vincent
as Woman Creditor
André Chaumeau
as Monkey Handler
Jay Benedict
as King's Commode Valet
Dominique Frot
as Hysterical Woman
Leslie Clack
as Whipping Courtier
David Houri
as Vicomte d'Amboise
Christophe Prevost
as Lantern Deliveryman
Ron Forfar
as Melon Deliveryman
Albert Goldberg
as Leviathan Worker
Vincent Grass
as Martin's Father
Patty Hannock
as Duchesse at the Banq...
Fiona Curzon
as Woman at the Banquet
Adrian Pochna
as Foot Servant
Jerome Duranteau
as Cavalry Officer
Patrick Albenque
as Soldier at Chateau G...
Edwin Apps
as Fish Deliveryman
Helen Later
as Servant with Flowers
Joachim Serreau
as Young Servant
Pia LaGrange
as Duc d'Ambroise's Sis...
Lionel Vitrant
as Large Cook
Alexandre Chaussat
as Cook's Apprentice
James Ney
as Colin's Friend
William Hough
as Colin's Friend
Jesse Gage
as Colin's Friend
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Vatel

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.

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