Cook Babette Hersant had to flee France and ends up as a housekeeper for two unmarried sisters in western Jutland, Denmark. When Babette wins the lottery, she decides to spend the money on a sumptuous meal for these melancholic and frugal people.
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I've found it to be a surefire favourite among more than a few blockheads with delusions of cultural literacy (the kind of folks who consider "subtitled movies" to be a genre). This speaks to the film's clarity, sure, but also its simplicity. I'm probably wrong here, but I found nothing about it particularly compelling or unique.
My heart goes out to Bibi, every wrinkle on her face, and her crazy eyes. Here's the thing about (bougie) fetishism - when it is working, even knowledge of it is not enough to stop its effects. Hence I relent, relinquish, and rejoice in the delights of northern European homogeneity. It's all so patient. And also very funny.
The NY TImes video review is worht checking: A. O. Scott manages to sum up in just a few words why I enjoyed this film so much.
Random note: we always talks about which public figures we would invite to our fantasy dinner party but we never talk about who we'd want in the kitchen. I’d want Babette, that’s who.
A powerful film; I can't imagine sharing it with anyone else out of the fear that they might find it frightfully boring. But there was a lot of weight in the understated drama, the beautiful script, and the (again, understated but well-done) performances. A film I can look to for continued nourishment as I grow older.
This is a very subtle and meaningful film about self-sacrifice and the role food plays in our expression of love. The first half is a bit slow, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded in the end. My advice is to watch on a full stomach with a glass of your finest wine!