The Big Feast (La Grande Bouffe)

Critics Consensus

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64%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 14

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,485
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Movie Info

While aficianados of black Gallic humor willl find this film a feast, those unused to the earthiness of some French comedy will find this chronicle of the decadent suicides of four successful middle-aged men utterly tasteless. Bored with their routine lives, the quartet decide to lock themselves in a Parisian village and end their lives with an orgy of gluttony, wanton sex and general hedonism not seen since the fall of Rome.

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Critic Reviews for The Big Feast (La Grande Bouffe)

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (7)

  • Hilarious, stomach-turning, morbid, breezy, funny, and sad.

    Nov 16, 2017 | Full Review…
  • [A] surreal and funny feast.

    Jul 2, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Jaded, authentically perverted, drenched in ennui, this absurdist nightmare is a locus classicus of 1970s chateau erotica.

    Jul 2, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Yuck.

    Jul 2, 2015 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • As La Grande Bouffe trudges between scenes of culinary and sexual excess with grim determination, it becomes impossible to care who's stuffing what in where.

    Jun 30, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Sade's 120 Days of Sodom reworked, with few of the resonances and none of the rigour of Pasolini's Saló.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Tony Rayns

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Big Feast (La Grande Bouffe)

  • May 14, 2013
    Today was the third time I watched this movie over 40 years span! And it's still delightfully wickedly funny! This French-Italian film directed by Marco Ferreri deserves much more than it received from the audience. I still wonder why wasn't so popular in US because stars like Marcello Mastroianni, Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Piccoli and Philippe Noiret, should be famous there as well. They are from the top of the European acting class! And they showed why are they on the top. Marco Ferreri won the FIPRESCI Prize given by the International Federation of Film Critics at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival... and here on RT there is no rating for it!? Sad... In 2 hours and 15 minutes you have an avalanche of life happening around you in the story of four friends who gather in a villa for the weekend with the express purpose of eating themselves to death! Black humour, lots of indulgence, regrets, questions and half answers... Sex and overeating - is that what the life is all about? Watch this movie, and let me know!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Mar 21, 2012
    Dark and grotesque, just like Ferreri.
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 12, 2012
    "La Grande Bouffe" ("The Big Feast") is grandly overlong, considering it devotes 130 minutes to what amounts to a one-line plot (four men set out to eat themselves to death). This strange Marco Ferreri project gets labeled a black comedy, but where are the laughs? Beyond some spectacular fart jokes (the sound effects are strikingly realistic), this is a film centered on discomfort rather than humor. Certainly, the cast isn't the problem. The esteemed Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret and Ugo Tognazzi play, respectively, a pilot, a TV host, a judge and a chef who meet one weekend at a country estate. But their cheerful getaway seems more and more peculiar, once time passes and we realize that the gang just never stops eating. Endless consumption of presented gourmet dishes accounts for most of the movie. So, unless you're keen to spend two hours watching some fine actors gnaw on every sort of greasy, gloppy, sticky food imaginable (do bread or vegetables appear onscreen at all?), expect to become reacquainted with your gag reflex. Even the sex scenes (naturally, the guys hire some female companions) are mechanical and unappealing. The film's repulsion factor would be more forgivable if the characterizations were solid. But these also disappoint. Little explanation is offered for the suicidal bent of these otherwise successful men. Their interest in prostitutes and free love suggests a parallel between their sexual and gastronomic appetites, but the script doesn't dig beyond this idea's surface. Luis Bunuel could have done better.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 19, 2012
    Four men, one of whom is a master chef, check into a villa and resolve to eat themselves to death. It's THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL meets LEAVING LAS VEGAS. Grotesque but oddly compelling, thanks to a dream cast including Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Picolli and Philippe Noiret.
    Greg S Super Reviewer

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