Babette’s Feast (1987)

 One should develop a habit: when the story of a film is too original, too surprising, too … nice, chances are it is based on a book! In this case it is the book with the same title of Karen BlixenBabette’s Feast has become famous for the French dinner prepared by Babette, one of the film’s characters. The movie however is much more than the fabulous dishes presented.

It speaks about the small world of habits and experiences humans have and how they usually see everything different as a threat.

There is the sincere religious attitude in the characters of the film. On the other hand, there are quarrels between them, dispersing the peace that arises from that religious attitude. Quarrels that vanish when they taste the delicious plates served during the dinner. Is there a subtle irony? Is there a question about the ability of the spirit to reach the much-needed elevation, without being adequately supported by the fulfilment of the needs of the body? What else could mean the General’s phrase:

the head chef, had the ability to transform a dinner into a kind of love affair, a love affair that made no distinction between bodily appetite and spiritual appetite

Apart from that, it also speaks about the need of the human being to create, to leave its trace. That is also true for cooking, an art with masterpieces that vanish once they are eaten, leaving only memories in those that tasted the food. So:

Throughout the world sounds one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me the chance to do my very best.

My rating: 08/10

PS. A different, lengthier review of the film may be found here.