Synopsis: 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?
Director(s): Roland Joffé
Production: Miramax
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
103 min

As things stand, we cannot honor our debts.

Not for the months and years gone by, still less for these festivities.

We cannot pay you a single sou,

nor will we ever.

You have only one chance of getting your money.

By giving me everything I ask for, instantly.

And of the very best quality and then more of the same.

This visit is a reconciliation.

If the King is pleased by the festivities,

then the royal coffers will open.

It's up to you.

If we give you more credit, will we get our money back?

The Prince has said so.

My master is a man of honor.

On that I stake my life. You will be paid.

Excellent. Excellent.

Good morning.


- Monsieur Vatel.

- Hello, monsieur.

Very good.

Are you going down, Madame? I'm going up.


Where is Montausier?

Explain to her the Queen does not wait on her lady-in-waiting!

Forgive me, Madame. Oh, please.

Let me...

Allow me.

I hope your birds will be happy with us.


- That's good.

- Oui, Monsieur.

What do you think, your Highness?

Effiat, Monsieur has chosen the boy already.

Here we are!

Ah, yes. Put him in with the fruit...

There, you need a wash.

All right, boy. Let's clean you.

Effiat, get in! Get in with...

with him.

Monsieur, the King's brother wants him for his page.

He chose me.

Get him dressed and put him to work.


What would you have me tell his Highness,

the King's brother?

Tell him I don't get my boys from his boudoir.

And he won't get his from my kitchen.


Indeed, I will.

It's not very wise upsetting...

the King's brother, you know.

He could make things go badly for us if he chooses.

Monsieur Vatel.

The Princess...

has been bitten... by a monkey!

Master Steward, you've filled my garden with savage beasts!

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Jeanne Labrune

Jeanne Labrune (born 21 June 1950) is a French screenwriter and film director. She has directed 13 films since 1978. Her film Sand and Blood was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Vatel" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 9 Jul 2020. <>.

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