Vatel Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Set during the reign of France's King Louis XIV (Sands), this film portrays the events of a three-day feast prepared and conducted by Vatel (Depardieu), the king's master of entertainment.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. Boldly distinctive in its depiction of individuals caught up in a veritable infernal machine designed solely to give pleasure to a monarch, Vatel is a timeless tale of love and sacrifice in a world as opulent as it is cruel.
  2. While the filmmakers are not above corset-drama bed-hopping and back-stabbing, it's delicious when the beds and backs belong to Uma Thurman, Tim Roth and Julian Sands.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    You could hardly ask for more from a historical spectacle: Silly wigs, plunging décolletage, lavish banquets in ornate halls, a stirring score from Ennio Morricone and witty dialogue by Tom Stoppard.
  4. 50
    The movie wants desperately to function as a romantic tragedy, with passions glancing off the thoughtless pursuit of satisfaction. But Vatel can't really define the differences between the two; it settles into a period funk, as shallow as the court popinjays it seeks to expose.
  5. Although Vatel is trying to say something about freedom and gilded cages, it feels more like a behind-the-scenes look at the high-end catering business.
  6. 50
    Vatel is dull and silly, but the holiday season doesn't offer a better sets-and-costumes workshop.
  7. 10
    This putrid dish marks a new low for director Roland Joffe.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 1 out of 8