The Big Feast (La Grande Bouffe) Reviews

  • Jun 10, 2019

    La Grande Bouffe is a film about a group of friends who decide to spend a weekend in a house together where they will eat themselves to death. They feed into some of their other desires as well, but that’s pretty much all there is to the plot. The film didn’t start off well for me because they never establish a reason why these men wanted to do this, and why this was their chosen method of suicide. (It even takes a while before they establish what they are doing, but I had read the plot description on the back of the DVD box before watching.) The characters all have unique personalities, but they seem a bit exaggerated as if they are caricatures. None of them are all that likable, but I’m not sure if they were intended to be anyways. My guess is that the characters are supposed to be a symbolic representation or something like that, but I rarely “get” symbolism unless it directly relates to something in my own life. The one positive I can say about La Grande Bouffe is that it created a powerful reaction in me. I was disgusted early on, and that didn’t change for most of the film. I also wouldn’t say that I was particularly bored by the film, because it seemed like there was always another course coming and the characters were like a ticking time bomb. More than anything I was puzzled by the movie. It all seemed so needless and pointless. They managed to make some of the most decadent food unappealing, which is an accomplishment (I guess,) but not something I enjoy in any way. They also introduce a female character who sticks around for at least half of the movie, and I couldn’t figure out why she remained with them. Motivation for all the characters was a mystery to me, and I guess I need that to be clearer to fully enjoy a movie. I didn’t despise La Grande Bouffe, as I expected I would, but it did nothing to make me like it either.

    La Grande Bouffe is a film about a group of friends who decide to spend a weekend in a house together where they will eat themselves to death. They feed into some of their other desires as well, but that’s pretty much all there is to the plot. The film didn’t start off well for me because they never establish a reason why these men wanted to do this, and why this was their chosen method of suicide. (It even takes a while before they establish what they are doing, but I had read the plot description on the back of the DVD box before watching.) The characters all have unique personalities, but they seem a bit exaggerated as if they are caricatures. None of them are all that likable, but I’m not sure if they were intended to be anyways. My guess is that the characters are supposed to be a symbolic representation or something like that, but I rarely “get” symbolism unless it directly relates to something in my own life. The one positive I can say about La Grande Bouffe is that it created a powerful reaction in me. I was disgusted early on, and that didn’t change for most of the film. I also wouldn’t say that I was particularly bored by the film, because it seemed like there was always another course coming and the characters were like a ticking time bomb. More than anything I was puzzled by the movie. It all seemed so needless and pointless. They managed to make some of the most decadent food unappealing, which is an accomplishment (I guess,) but not something I enjoy in any way. They also introduce a female character who sticks around for at least half of the movie, and I couldn’t figure out why she remained with them. Motivation for all the characters was a mystery to me, and I guess I need that to be clearer to fully enjoy a movie. I didn’t despise La Grande Bouffe, as I expected I would, but it did nothing to make me like it either.

  • Feb 02, 2018

    It is very gross and dark and I guess to some a bit disturbing. But it truly is art. It takes a concept and goes off the wall with it by not slacking off but being absolutely ambitious. La Grande Bouffe (The Big Feast) is a great movie.

    It is very gross and dark and I guess to some a bit disturbing. But it truly is art. It takes a concept and goes off the wall with it by not slacking off but being absolutely ambitious. La Grande Bouffe (The Big Feast) is a great movie.

  • Nov 07, 2017

    Watched this on recommendation by Anthony Bourdain. It's 90% watching people eat, and I'm thinking what the hell is the point of this? Four older French dudes just going to town on food, hire some hookers for the weekend and that's pretty much it. There's some very odd scenes, the oddest featuring one of the guys, and I'm not making this up, shitting himself to death. I guess it's funny in a morbid sorta way? Actually I can see why Bourdain likes this.

    Watched this on recommendation by Anthony Bourdain. It's 90% watching people eat, and I'm thinking what the hell is the point of this? Four older French dudes just going to town on food, hire some hookers for the weekend and that's pretty much it. There's some very odd scenes, the oddest featuring one of the guys, and I'm not making this up, shitting himself to death. I guess it's funny in a morbid sorta way? Actually I can see why Bourdain likes this.

  • Jun 06, 2017

    The more grotesque, disgusting and atrocious, 'La Grande Bouffe' gets- and goes quite far...-- the more memorable it becomes. Since its excessive repulsiveness corresponds to the excessiveness of the orgy depicted, this Franco-Italian curiosity achieves to be as nauseaus as eating its grub while sick--that is, physically disturbing. A disagreable but remarkable effect which justifies a perhaps too generous rating for such a peculiar film. Rotten, certainly, but fascinatingly rotten as well.

    The more grotesque, disgusting and atrocious, 'La Grande Bouffe' gets- and goes quite far...-- the more memorable it becomes. Since its excessive repulsiveness corresponds to the excessiveness of the orgy depicted, this Franco-Italian curiosity achieves to be as nauseaus as eating its grub while sick--that is, physically disturbing. A disagreable but remarkable effect which justifies a perhaps too generous rating for such a peculiar film. Rotten, certainly, but fascinatingly rotten as well.

  • Mar 16, 2017

    While this move had the potential of being thematically insightful, it deteriorated quickly into an exhaustive visual grotesquerie. A painfully drawn out two hours of repetitive actions that led to nowhere interesting.

    While this move had the potential of being thematically insightful, it deteriorated quickly into an exhaustive visual grotesquerie. A painfully drawn out two hours of repetitive actions that led to nowhere interesting.

  • Feb 04, 2017

    Four affluent middle-aged men (Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret & Ugo Tognazzi) close themselves off in a chateau for a weekend of stuffing themselves with gourmet food. They are joined by three prostitutes and a school teacher. It gradually becomes clear that this is a suicide pact ... the four intend to eat themselves to death. I love this film. It's somewhere between Bunuel and "Salo" ... or a version of "Salo" that is not hijacked as an indictment of fascism and is perhaps closer to De Sade. What starts as a fairly sensual enjoyment of food and sex gradually transforms into a grim and tawdry march to death. The film doesn't blink, but it also isn't really condemning men for their bloody minded self-hating lust for pleasure. It's both satire and celebration in an odd way.

    Four affluent middle-aged men (Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret & Ugo Tognazzi) close themselves off in a chateau for a weekend of stuffing themselves with gourmet food. They are joined by three prostitutes and a school teacher. It gradually becomes clear that this is a suicide pact ... the four intend to eat themselves to death. I love this film. It's somewhere between Bunuel and "Salo" ... or a version of "Salo" that is not hijacked as an indictment of fascism and is perhaps closer to De Sade. What starts as a fairly sensual enjoyment of food and sex gradually transforms into a grim and tawdry march to death. The film doesn't blink, but it also isn't really condemning men for their bloody minded self-hating lust for pleasure. It's both satire and celebration in an odd way.

  • Jul 30, 2016

    Over indulgent is merely an understatement when it comes to the food eating in this film. Just stop eating...please!! This black comedy found me rolling on the floor with laughter, but not really too sure why or what i was laughing at!

    Over indulgent is merely an understatement when it comes to the food eating in this film. Just stop eating...please!! This black comedy found me rolling on the floor with laughter, but not really too sure why or what i was laughing at!

  • Feb 22, 2016

    Who thinks comedies have to be funny obviously doesn't understand the word "comedy" in its fullest meaning. This ferocious satyrical depiction of wealth will shock you rather than make you laugh, and it's exactly what it intends to do.

    Who thinks comedies have to be funny obviously doesn't understand the word "comedy" in its fullest meaning. This ferocious satyrical depiction of wealth will shock you rather than make you laugh, and it's exactly what it intends to do.

  • Oct 09, 2015

    When the sauce has been simmered down and the icing sugar settles what is left is a hollow, dissatisfying experience. The narrative is disjointed, the characters seem to drift from one crude set-piece to another without any homage to the overlying concept of they are trying to kill themselves via eating. The dishes themselves look terribly dated; disgusting actually. Had I been of this era, namely French in the 1970's watching this film might have held self-reflective significance, but I am not, so the experience was a gastronomic misnomer.

    When the sauce has been simmered down and the icing sugar settles what is left is a hollow, dissatisfying experience. The narrative is disjointed, the characters seem to drift from one crude set-piece to another without any homage to the overlying concept of they are trying to kill themselves via eating. The dishes themselves look terribly dated; disgusting actually. Had I been of this era, namely French in the 1970's watching this film might have held self-reflective significance, but I am not, so the experience was a gastronomic misnomer.

  • Apr 13, 2015

    A superb 'fun-movie' of this period of French cinema with actors of the calibre of Michel Picoli and Phillipe Noiret. I have a feeling the actors put together this movie to have a good time - both physically and artistically.

    A superb 'fun-movie' of this period of French cinema with actors of the calibre of Michel Picoli and Phillipe Noiret. I have a feeling the actors put together this movie to have a good time - both physically and artistically.