VATEL Add To My Top 10

Disillusioned Steward

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: December 25, 2000

Starring: Gerard Depardieu, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Julian Sands, Julian Glover, & Timothy Spall

Genre: Historical Drama

Audience: Teenagers & adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 104 minutes

Address Comments To:

Bob & Harvey Weinstein
Co-Chairmen
Miramax Films
8439 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (323) 822-4100
Website: www.miramax.com

Content:

(H, C, L, VV, S, NN, A, M) Humanist worldview with some Christian & anti-Christian content; 1 obscenity & 1 mild profanity plus some sexual innuendoes & two scenes of people using commodes; man accidentally strangles to death when horse spooked by fireworks, blood drips from suicide victim, doctor uses blood of birds to relieve pain of ugly growth on man’s foot, & swordfight; implied fornication, implied adultery & couple shown in bed; upper male nudity, upper female nudity & nude paintings; alcohol use; no smoking; and, political intrigue, lust for power & nobleman succumbs to corruptive influences.

Summary:

In VATEL, court intrigue in 17the Century France during the time of Louis XIV endangers the position of a nobleman’s steward and the king’s new mistress. VATEL is a beautiful, well-acted movie that, however, contains a humanist worldview which lacks the true glory that the beauty of God can bring.

Review:

VATEL is an intimate historical drama that dazzles the eyes and ears with an outward beauty, but disappoints in trying to convey an inspiring inner beauty.

The year is 1671 in France. King Louis XIV rules at Versailles, at the height of his reign. In the west of France, however, one province is on the verge of ruin. The Prince de Condé has a plan to get himself and his province out of debt. He invites the king to his country chateau for a weekend of spectacle and merriment. Only one man can deliver enough sumptuous food, elaborate entertainment and decadent splendor to entice the famous Sun King – the Prince’s highly competent steward, Vatel, played by Gerard Depardieu.

In the midst of preparing three days of fabulous feasting, Vatel falls in love with the king’s new mistress, Anne de Montausier (played by Uma Thurman of PULP FICTION), and she with him. Also falling for Anne, however, is one of the king’s devious ministers, the Marquis de Lauzun, played by Tim Roth, the villain in ROB ROY. Anne’s growing love for Vatel puts her in a precarious position. When Vatel realizes that his Prince is not the man of honor that Vatel thought he was, his realization comes with devastating consequences.

Depardieu, who won kudos for his performances in historical dramas like the recent CYRANO DE BERGERAC, delivers another outstanding performance as the energetic, kindly Vatel. Director Roland Joffé, whose recent anti-Christian output such as THE SCARLET LETTER has diminished the reputation he justly earned with THE KILLING FIELDS and THE MISSION, pulls out all the stops in re-creating the setting of this story. His movie is beautiful, although the story lacks the epic weight which would justify such an elaborate production.

Thematically, VATEL evokes a humanistic worldview. Both Vatel and Anne eventually decide that freedom is more valuable to them than political success, but their stories are tragic ones that end unhappily, without the solace that God and Jesus Christ can bring. Their story here also comes with some sexual content and a couple crude images of people relieving themselves.

In Brief:

In VATEL, Gerard Depardieu plays Vatel, a French Prince’s steward who must create three days of sumptuous feasting for King Louis XIV in the 17th Century countryside of France. Vatel falls in love with the king’s newest mistress, played by Uma Thurman, who’s being sought by another nobleman. Their growing affection puts them in a precarious position. When Vatel realizes that his Prince is not the man of honor that Vatel thought he was, his realization comes with devastating consequences.

Depardieu, who won kudos for his performance in CYRANO DE BERGERAC, delivers another outstanding performance as the energetic, kindly Vatel. Director Roland Joffé, whose recent anti-Christian output such as THE SCARLET LETTER has diminished the reputation he earned with THE MISSION, pulls out all the stops in re-creating this story. His movie is beautiful, although the story lacks the epic weight which would justify such an elaborate production. Thematically, VATEL evokes a humanistic worldview. Both Vatel and Anne decide that freedom is more valuable than success, but their stories end unhappily, without the solace that God and Jesus Christ can bring. Their story also comes with some sexual content and a few mildly crude, gross images.