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Babette's Feast (Widescreen)

Stéphane Audran , Bodil Kjer , Gabriel Axel    G (General Audience)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Original June 12 2001
The story unfolds in a small, seaside Danish village. We watch patiently as the minister and his two lovely daughters lead their church and community through enlightenment and devout prayer. Rather than seeking marriage or fame, the sisters' faith and devotion to God keep them in this picturesque little hamlet well into late age, long after the minister's passing. At the request of a dear friend, the sisters are urged to take in a Parisian refuge in an effort to save her life during her government's turmoil. Babette becomes cook and housekeeper for the ladies.
Many years later, Babette learns she's won the Paris lottery and decides to host a feast for the kindly sisters and the community that took her in. Though slow moving at first, the story gradually picks up momentum, interest and laughs along the way. The highlight is in the preparation and presentation of the feast itself; to the simple people of the village who have never before experienced such an exotic fare. Unbeknownst to everyone, Babette was the head chef at one of Paris' foremost restaurants and a personal favorite of Parisian royalty and dignitaries.
A delightful film and a treasure for any international collector. The characters are realistically wonderful and cast beautifully. While filled with many charming moments and excellent performances, the entire film is an absolute delight and highly suitable for family viewing. Although some parents may be hesitant to introduce a foreign language film (with subtitles) to their children, it has been my personal experience that children can embrace the important elements, plot and humor of this film, irrespective of individual reading proficiencies. This film was purchased at the urging of our children and says a lot for the uniqueness and originality of Babette's Feast. A true delight for all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eternal celebration to the friendship! July 10 2004
Babette is a film which inspires you to to be a better person. It's a splendid story about the last possibilities of a lonely human being as Stephane Audran is capable to do in a community.
The multiple readings you can make are countless ; the camera is a silent witeness to show us the unforgettable dinner in what Audran makes a tour de force acting. We had to expect thirteen years for finding out a similar film in its meaning: Amelie in 2001.
The question is not if you must to acquire this movie ; but how can you live without this one?
One of the ten movies from the eighties : A timeless gift from Dennmark to the whole world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, literate, gentle film-making Aug. 1 2011
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
A tale of passions and art thwarted and brought to life, with lovely photography, and solid performances.

The charming story of two spinster sisters in a dour, religious Danish town who take in a French political refugee. After years of working for these women, with gratitude and gentleness, but little expressed emotion, the woman (Stephane Audran) uses lottery money she wins not to return to France, or to start her own life, but to create a feast, bringing back her own lost artistry as one of France's great chefs.

In spite of their promise not to get swept up in the food, the locals slowly succumb to it's sublime mix of the sacred and the sensual.

All of this is sweet, interesting, entertaining and well told, but for me there's also something a tiny bit thin about it. It feels like a short story stretched to feature length (which it is), and I didn't find it quite as moving emotionally as I wished. Many like it more than me, but to me it's a lovely, well-told, worthwhile film, but not quite a great one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie March 18 2004
By Paul
This movie is my favorite ever. The scenery is beautiful, the acting is extraordinary, the narration is poetic. Babette's feast is not some "movie with a message" otherwise it wouldn't be any good. But it's so real and poignant that much truth can be seen in it, spiritual truth and insights which shed light onto human nature. The relationships are very natural and believable, but the style of narration keeps the story from any kind of overly-subjective viewpoint which infects many movies which delve into human relationships. The actions and conversations arise very naturally and advance the plot superbly.
Another thing which I love about the movie is that it reveals something about the nature of good, evil, grace and redemption. None of the acting characters in the movie are "evil"; however many are infected with smaller sins of pettiness, lack of generosity, glorying in the defeat of others, scrupulosity, jealousy, etc. This movie shows how these defects - small but many - have taken all the joy and pleasure out of life for those suffering under them and that to forgive and be forgiven is necessary to restore the joy of life. Grace, in this case the gift of Babette, is necessary to occasion the redemptive action.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like I say... Aug. 29 2003
A little lovin' and some good food makes for a happy civilization and the French seem to undertsand that altogether.
This is the story of a French woman who reluctantly finds herself on Danish soil in order to escape upheavel in France during one of it's many revolutions.
She is a 10 star chef but enters as a maidservant for these two homely sisters that basically eat puritanical food and dress the same. Not realizing who they have amongst them, they go about average every day "bla" that they call life. However, their new servant is spicing life up little by little for the people around her simply by adding flavor to little things like soup, etc.
Because of her talents everyone simply has a more tolerable life in the Danish village. Then it gets astoundingly better when Babette wins some money and opts to use it to purchase ingredients for the best feast she can imagine, just like she did at her restraunt in France.
The nervous sisters apologize beforehand to the Villagers as if they have something to be ashamed of simply because Babette asked them to organize a feast. It's amazing what religion and puritanical beliefs rob people of. Don't you agree? (Said blowing a kiss in the air and taking a drag of an imaginary cigarette).
Needless to say, the Villagers were changed in an almost spiritual way after the meal that love produced.
Great film, especially for Chefs.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Babette's Feast
This film was out of print, but the outfit that sold it was excellent. The film arrived just days after I had first ordered it
Published on Dec 16 2010 by D. Neil Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Babette's Feast worth the calories
A classic, an enduring metaphor ... knowing the ending doesn't make it less delicious ' just like any great meal that you anticipate because you have enjoyed it time and again.
Published on June 25 2010 by Tateena
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Movie
This movie was so wonderful. I recommend it to anyone who appreciates good food and wine. Enjoy!
Published on Jan. 23 2010 by M. Finn
5.0 out of 5 stars Appetizing
A difficult viewing for some modern North American movie viewers, but I find it quaint, beautiful, and thought-provoking. Read more
Published on March 18 2008 by Professor T
5.0 out of 5 stars So, theyre just, like, eating?
You dont see alot of movies where the whole third act consist of 12 old men and women sitting at a table, barely talking. Read more
Published on July 8 2007 by C. Torpe
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful thanksgiving story
Barbette a refugee from another world, seeks a simple life as a cook in a simple village. Both she and the villagers learn from each other. Read more
Published on March 31 2007 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favor and watch this movie - then share it.
I don't know about you, but I LOVE to have experiences that just fill me with joy. Even better, if it's an experience that is easily shared, I like sharing it with my friends and... Read more
Published on May 5 2004 by Mark J. Fowler
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Just a "Food Movie"
I'm a sucker for food films like "eat, drink, man, woman" and "Like Water for Chocalate", etc. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by S. Sommerville
5.0 out of 5 stars " I HAVE NO MORE MONEY"
When you hear those words your heart immediately begins to melt. what is Grace? An unmerited favor. Babette gave ALL she had to bring joy and happiness in the lives of others. Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular, delicious, beautiful
Toward the end of this beautiful movie, the origin of the title becomes clear. Babette, a refugee, has spent 14 years as a cook in the home of two fervently religious sisters who... Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2004 by Peggy Vincent
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