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A Feature film by Roland Joffé

Produced by Gaumont, Légende

Release in France : 10/05/2000


    Château du Prince de Condé, late April 1671 François Vatel is the faithful and devoted attendant to the proud yet ageing and financially ruined Prince de Condé. The Prince needs to gain favour with King Louis XIV and hopefully receive command of a new militry campaign against the Duth.Condé will submit to no-one but his king, yet for this occasion, he places himself and the welfare of his château in the hands of Vatel, assigning him the difficult task of receiving the Court of Versailles in its entirety at the Château de Chantilly. The festivities shall last three days and three nights and must be dazzling to say the very least. To ensure success in his duties, Vatel heads an army of servants, men and women, young and old, working incessantly to surprise, amaze and satisfy the king. Vatel sedigns the festivities by theme, with extremely elaborate menus and grand thatrics of which the king is most fond. In the midst of this bustle, Vatel is seduced by Anne de Montausier who is close to the queen and coveted by Lauzun and the king himslef. Anne gives herself to Vatel who cuts the figure of a grand master of ceremonies despite his plebeian origins ; he is above all man of great heart and conviction. The festivities are drawing to close. Judging by the atmosphere of good humour, success seems close. But on the evening of the third day, the fish for dinner does not arrive…

    Actors (39)

    Production and distribution (5)

    Co-production :

    TF1 Films Production

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    International releases (25)

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    What I like about this film is that Vatel doesn’t go seeking compliments. He just does his job. The rest doesn’t concern him, he’s not interested in what happens upstairs. Just like Renoir’s “Rules of the Game,” there’s an upstairs and a downstairs – aristocrats above, servants below. What I like about the movies is the way various episodes can take off in so many directions. The magic created by an actor in a scene can occur despite him, without him knowing. In fact, it’s better if he doesn’t know. Actors’ greatest moments come when they’re not aware of it, when they’re deep in their work, just doing their job.

    Gérard Depardieu, actor

    Photos (6)

    Full credits (19)

    Executive Producer :

    Ilan Goldman

    Foreign Producer :

    Timothy Burrill

    Associate producer :

    Catherine Morisse

    Director of Photography :

    Éric Moreau

    Production Manager :

    Patrick Bordier

    Editor :

    Noëlle Boisson

    Production Designer :

    Jean Rabasse

    Music Composers :

    Ennio Morricone, Jean-Michel Bernard

    Costume designer :

    Yvonne Sassinot de Nesle

    Still Photographer :

    Étienne George

    Assistant Director :

    Pascal Guérin

    Adaptation :

    Tom Stoppard

    Screenwriters :

    Tom Stoppard, Jeanne Labrune

    Sound Recordist :

    Pavel Wdowczak

    Press Attaché (film) :

    Isabelle Sauvanon

    Continuity supervisors :

    Sylvette Baudrot, Virginie Prin

    Art director :

    Sabrine Chartier

    Choreographer :

    Corinne Devaux

    Visual Effects :

    Bruno Maillard

    Technical details

    Feature film

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    Coproducer countries :

    France, Great Britain

    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    Majority French (France, Great Britain)

    Production year :


    French release :


    Runtime :

    1 h 44 min

    Current status :


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    Posters (3)



    Selections (8)

    Mar Del Plata International Film Festival - 2001

    Mar Del Plata International Film Festival (Argentina, 2001)


    Official Selection - Out of Competition

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 2001

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 2001)

    Selection (2)

    Best Production Design : Jean Rabasse

    Best Costume Design : Yvonne Sassinot de Nesle

    Mostra - São Paulo International Film Festival - 2000

    Mostra - São Paulo International Film Festival (Brazil, 2000)


    Official International Selection

    Cannes Film Market - 2000

    Cannes Film Market (France, 2000)



    Cannes International Film Festival - 2000

    Cannes International Film Festival (France, 2000)


    Out of Competition


    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 2001

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 2001)


    César Award for Best Production Design : Jean Rabasse