15 thoughts on “Food, Fantasy, and Vatel

  1. One of my very favorite films, with a rare example of an accurately-staged 17th c. court masque (as compared to the pageanty one in Restoration or the hallucinatory one in Prospero’s Books). Thanks for reminding me to re-watch this!

  2. My other love…food movies. I have owned this one for some time and re-watch from time to time, both for the food and for the costuming…love it! You might watch Babette’s Feast for another historical food/costume movie which takes place int he 19th century. Not lavish by any stretch but worthy of a look, especially for the feast.

  3. Why does the table laden with food captioned ‘the hard work behind the party’remind me of Hogwarts at Christmas? ‘Food, glorious food’ looks so delicious. I’m lucky to be eating a late lunch.
    But seriously, your post reminded me of how enjoyable the movie is. I plan on watching it again.
    Point wasn’t the princess in Velasquez painting e Las Meninas a blonde?

    1. Yep! Maria Theresa of Spain was blonde, but movies have to make Spanish ppl dark haired bec. they think audiences won’t get it otherwise, UGH. See also, Catherine of Aragon.

      1. Actually,this is not the same as the princess in “Las Meninas” (That would be Margarita Teresa) but her older half-sister (only surviving child of Philip IV’s first marriage, and coincidentally double-cousin of Louis XIV himself).
        (Though really, as a Spanish person myself, I hate it when they go the route of Spanish=Dark haired. So I join in the complaints.)

          1. My apologies, I was trying to reply to Susan, since she was the one who mentioned Las Meninas. (Guess I shouldn’t approach a computer without glasses *facepalm*)
            But you linked to the right paintings and yep. She’s blonde. Like all her family (at least from her father’s side, which is the one I know better, and yet the one whose most famous members are almost always depicted with dark hair *sighs*)
            Again, sorry for the confusion XS

  4. I also adore the visuals the court masque in Vatel, and all the food sculpture is lovely. However I cannot forgive the film of using Rameau and Handel for all of the music. Screamingly annoying. Why? 18th century music! And very well-known music at that
    Would it really have been the difficult to use snippets of Lully or similar? I think there’s a tiny piece by Colonna which is period-correct but location-wrong (he’s central Italy, and was not played at the French court).
    Grrrrr. Terribly wrong music, with no effort made whatsoever. It’s like grommets and back-lacing for me.

  5. Vatel is one of the films i can re-watch every couple years and feel like it is new to me again. With so many visuals going on there is always something I haven’t noticed before.

  6. Oh, those bloody posing gowns. When I was a kid starting out with learning about fashion history I thought the late 17th and early 18th century women went around desperately clinging taffeta parachutes to their bosoms lest all their clothes suddenly drop off.

    To this day I’ve got a long lasting dislike and distrust of a posing gown. Not least after discovering how fabulous manteaux are….

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