In 1671, with war brewing with Holland, a penniless prince invites Louis XIV to three days of festivities at a chateau in Chantilly. The prince wants a commission as a general, so the ... See full summary »
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Robert Downey Jr.,
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In 1671, with war brewing with Holland, a penniless prince invites Louis XIV to three days of festivities at a chateau in Chantilly. The prince wants a commission as a general, so the extravagances are to impress the king. In charge of all is the steward, Vatel, a man of honor, talent, and low birth. The prince is craven in his longing for stature: no task is too menial or dishonorable for him to give Vatel. While Vatel tries to sustain dignity, he finds himself attracted to Anne de Montausier, the king's newest mistress. In Vatel, she finds someone who's authentic, living out his principles within the casual cruelties of court politics. Can the two of them escape unscathed? Written by
I enjoyed this movie due to the historical treatment of how politics played out during the time of the European kingdoms. Money is always the problem and the money is always from the poor for the selfishness of the rich---some things never change. Vatel like so many perfectionists of their crafts comes to the realization that no one cares--not even his employer! Good film with underlying truths that quite possibly could be reviewed in today's world. If you have visited castles in Europe you will enjoy getting a feel about how the sub-basements were used--no more complaints about your kitchen. Gerard Depardieu gives a good performance and the costumes and scenery are exquisite.
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