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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
Vatel was not a bad movie, in fact it was worth viewing. If it were not a true story you could argue it was too calm and had too little excitement for the people who seek diversion entertainment. However, since it is a true story, about a royal cook and what he had to go through just to do his art it becomes very interesting. Another good theme was the disfunctionality of the royals and how the servants interacted with these powerful people (Vatel tried not to as much as possible). I particularly liked the part where Vatel said "no thank you" so philosophically to a nobleman's perverted request that Vatel won him over as a friend through respect. If you like brinkmanship and maneuvering, this movie has it, be it subtle.
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