Babette’s Feast (1987)


Link: Babette’s Feast

Summary: When her family is killed, a French woman flees the country to Denmark, where she is taken in by two old religious ladies in a small village.  Her only hope of returning to her home country is if she wins the lottery, which she does.  But before she leaves, she has one last request: to cook a rich extravagant feast for the small village, which perhaps might change their spirits.

Thoughts: A very slow-paced film, but it works rather well.  The premise reminded me a bit of Ratatouille, as Babette views cooking as an art.  In Ratatouille, the cooking plays a minor role in a larger plot, so the cooking scenes themselves are rather rapid, usually presented in quick musical montages.  In Babette’s Feast, the delicacy of food preparation is given much more time to linger on screen, so you can see just how much attention and patience goes into the chef’s artwork.  It forces one to think: is this extravagant meal being wasted on this small village?  After all, they don’t have the experience to appreciate the mastery of the food they’re eating.  It says some very interesting things about an artist’s love for his (or her) art, as well as his relationship with his audience.  Great film.