Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud) Reviews

Page 1 of 41
December 9, 2016
I was completely unprepared for how great this film is. I watched it knowing it had won the Foreign Language Oscar and that it involved food, but I knew nothing else about it. What an amazing film. The story is brilliant and it is perfectly told. This movie is a loving tribute to art, food, and generosity. I will absolutely have to watch this again. Highest recommendation!
Super Reviewer
November 24, 2016
This sublime ode to art, gift, love and grace should be remembered for its wonderful direction and a magnificent narrative that never ceases to surprise us with what it has to offer and the unbelievable amount of depth that it holds in every detail of its apparently simple story.
October 29, 2016
Which was turtle soup, followed by quails. I was totally charmed by the presence of the coach driver sitting in the kitchen throughout
August 31, 2016
A wonderful film about how grace can change everything.
½ January 28, 2016
Babette's Feast focuses on a little town made up of devout Christians who believe in simplicity and regimens. Two sisters meet luxurious men, fall in love, but don't act on their feelings. A woman named Babette comes to town, living with them for many years before revealing herself to be a world-famous cook who makes them a meal as a gift. The town learns to overcome their petty squabbles after eating, for life is worth living and their troubles mean nothing in that context. This is a sweet, simple story and the film comes across as the same. The old ladies are adorable in their staid routines involving mushy bread and prayer, the scenery is beautiful, and the subtle commentary on absolution and balance is wise.

It's easy to see why Pope Francis is so taken by Babette's Feast given his propensity for mixing the old with the new (albeit certainly not perfectly). The film espouses this sentiment exactly, piousness never shamed and gluttony never condemned, because life isn't complete without either. I'm not at all religious, but this simple message resonated anyway.
½ December 28, 2015
Though the movie seemed boring until the mid way, the last two minutes of the movie is legendary. I would watch the whole movie again just to relive those last two minutes.
November 19, 2015
Very understated with its story and production techniques, but this is one of its great achievements. It doesn't try to wow you with the story, nor are there any added nuances to the film to enhance the drama - the result is a very sincere depiction of a time and location not often seen on film.
September 18, 2015
Delightful. Lovely. Even with subtitles, this was magnificent. With the stark cinematography, the slight dreariness, the subtleness of the actors, this was delightful from beginning to end. I loved every minute of it and could watch this one over and over again.
August 31, 2015
A beautiful drama comedy that left a good taste in my mouth.
½ April 6, 2015
The first half of the the Danish movie is a little slow in portraying life of priest's daughters in a small village in Denmark where a refugee from Paris arrived. The latter half is amazing as the refugee starts cooking French dishes in a small home kitchen. Not only the dishes but also the way of cooking is warm and beautiful. That's why this movie is highly rated. The dishes make the edgy and doubtful village people happy.
Lifestyle of village people in Denmark at the time is impressive.
½ March 22, 2015
Another well written Foreign Film that illustrates what is missing in American Film making. A French Chef turned French Maid for a conservative religious sect in an icy wind swept village in Denmark gets one last hurrah when she wins the lottery and prepares a perfect French Meal. Serving this to her pious employers, she shows the food (if done well) can be a transformational religious experience.
February 24, 2015
I was so ready to enjoy. I love the Danish beauty & the moral core of the film. But sadly, it was not to be. It was just so painfully boring. There is no discernible plot. And to the extent that even a hint of one can be found, it's not an interesting one. That's really too bad. Also, it didn't help that the food upon which the whole film was based looked disgusting to me.
December 13, 2014
So charming and such a lovely line of dialogue for its final moment. Simple and very effective.
November 15, 2014
This is one of the most beautiful meditations of life in film. There is no real drama or tension, it simply captures the viewer through great visual shots and the personalities of the characters. Each frame is like a work of art; the music is also enjoyable. The use of the film and the music lead the viewer to an ecstatic experience that transcends human limitations.

The plot in itself is simply the life of two sisters, daughters of a charismatic Christian preacher, who are committed completely to their Christian faith despite the opportunities they encountered to explore outside of those confines. They are from the Lutheran tradition. Years later, a French woman was forced to leave France and ends up with the sisters as a recommendation from an opera singer that visited them earlier. The French woman, Babette, help[s the sister with the cooking so that they can minister to others and also aids them in increasing their income. Babette grows to be loved in the town. One day, she has the opportunity to return to France and she insists on cooking for the centenary anniversary of the sisters' father. The dinner sequence is one of the most mesmerizing sequences in film.

I never thought the culinary qualities and the experiences of the diners could have been conveyed as successfully as done in this film. The meal, by modern standards, might not be appreciated by urban dwellers, but it is incredibly rich for those who can connect to the roots of food and the origins in a farm. Even aspects that might not sound as appetizing for some, are conveyed with great artistry that makes the dishes attractive to all people.

A running theme through the film is the dichotomy between the body and the spirit with the spirit receiving more accolades. Babette, from a Catholic French context, introduces to the small Christian congregation to the sacramental unity of body and spirit; a meal that can nurture the body and at the same time lead the diner to an encounter with transcendence and grace.
October 19, 2014
My all-time favorite movie. So, so, lovely.
½ August 17, 2014
Read the short story. A very faithful adaption!
½ July 13, 2014
A stunning charming film from Denmark that is considered by many the definitive film on food!!! Arguably some of most stunning photography of food put on film.

A simple (arguably slow) story of two woman who serve a religious leader & struggle with their inner desires. One evening a stray French Woman begs her services & they take her in.

Her personality brightens the village & she wants to do the dinner of dinners to thank them. The final dinner scene has some of the most mouth watering dishes...this film is a true delight!
June 16, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Babette's Feast is about the two daughters of a minister, Martine and Filippa, who have taken in a woman, Babette, as requested by an old admirer of one of the sisters. Babette requests the sisters if she could hold a French feast for the 100th anniversary of the minister's birth.

The film's plot is fairly light, lacking in any sense of complication that would make the film seem dire but surprisingly the film has kept me interested as the film succeeds in having the audience care about its characters, fleshing them out early in the film and given enough time to ensure they are well established. We are treated to opportunity romances for the two sisters and the reasons why they have taken the path they have chosen. They don't dwell on it in the future, as they fully understand where their responsibilities are and what they need in order to gain a full sense of self-actualization. I think if this area of the film, the exploration of the two sisters, failed to deliver an interesting story and contain poor direction then this entire section would have been a drag and would have significantly drop my regards towards the film. The film brings those elements back in the third act, which was done in a satisfying way; the characters don't suddenly decide to feel a sense of regret or feel a sense of need to change their life or view of the world as that would have felt overly forced and highly sentimental, instead they are left moving forward, not dwelling on the past but focusing on their duty in the present and the future. The third act of the film is all about the feast and it is one of the most riveting third acts I have ever experienced in cinema. There may be a lack of elevated tension but that doesn't matter as the way the food was prepared and delivered to the dining table was marvellous. The reaction on the consumer's faces were both hilarious and dramatic, we see their opinions change and somewhat feel that this night would change their view of the world. I wouldn't have minded if the scene extended for another 30 minutes, just based on pure indulgence.

The film explores ideas of vanity and passion in an effective way that only becomes apparent when one is looking or is willing to accept them. The film doesn't shove these ideas down your throat as the director's concerns lies with the execution of the film's story, ensuring that itâ??s interesting and would have audience be engaged with what is going on. The two sisters live very strictly within the rules of their religion and they confining themselves only within the community as this is the path they have chosen for themselves, both girls had an opportunity to live a "better" life but would that really satisfy and fill their souls? No it wouldn't as they would have been sucked into a world of corruption and vanity that eventually they would find themselves regretting their decision and possibly imploding emotionally. Their simple life is what they feel is necessary to live a full and spiritually satisfying life, so it is understandable the threat they feel when Babette has asked for a French feast, as they saw cruel and horrific things, which I never completely saw as ridiculous because it is in its own way "evil" if one can see it that way. Babette's luscious cooking can be seen as over-indulgent, gluttonous, and vein but it is when one hears and sees Babette's side, then they understand. Babette has a passion for cooking and her intentions are good, itâ??s about spreading happiness through her art. True, one can see that there is a selfish motive in Babette's action as by doing this, does give her a sense of pleasure in an indulgent kind of way, but that is humanity. Sometimes it is hard for humans to perform a completely selfless act as it is in our nature to care for our personal needs first. Even the two sisters have shown a sign of weakness from their faith, constantly worrying about Babette, whether or not she would eventually abandon them. The director ensured that by the end of the film, everyone is at an even playing field, and ensures that each person in the film is within arm's length.

The film's photography was gorgeous, with a couple of location shots that would have one drop their jaws to the floor. Though the film does take most of its place indoors, but this doesn't mean the film's beauty has suffered as the cinematographer, along with the contributions by the art and set designers, have created interiors that are appropriate for its period and setting but most important beautiful. The designers are aware that simplicity is the key in order to have the set feel in tune with the characters' personalities. If one looks at the walls and tables, there are barely anything on them that would make one take notice, because there is nothing about these women that shows a sense of vanity. It is their spiritual beauty that defines them, not the beauty of external materials. The costume department also did a wonderful job, providing scene after scene of appropriate but beautiful costumes that speaks a lot about the characters and the environment they are living in. Watching the scene with the feast was highly effective in contrasting the highly sophisticated French general and the individuals around him; his blue uniform stands out from the crowd as everyone else is wearing monotonous colors. Though there were times where I did wish the film's photography was more dynamic but I guess that would have been asking too much.

The film's score was wonderful. The sound of piano and violins subtly playing in the background during particular scenes were effective, capturing the feelings of being in the countryside and the avoidance of large pieces allowed the film to capture that simplistic tone that the film's story and characters were going for. The particular piece that plays at the end of the film was beautiful; I just didn't want it to end.

The acting in this film was great, featuring wonderful performances from Bodil Kjer, who plays Filippa, and Birgitte Federspiel, who plays Martine. The actresses who play their younger selves were also a wonderful to watch. Stephane Audran as Babette was great in the role, particularly during the final minutes of the film where she gives a bit of information to the sisters about her past and where her future intentions are. I apologise that I am not able to discuss their performance thoroughly as I personally feel that I need another watch to take it all in.

Babette's Feast is an amazing film that tells such a simplistic story in a highly effective approach. It contains beautiful photography and a score that never falters. This is one of the rare films that I do not require a rewatch to thoroughly determine how I feel about the film, Babette's Feast is perfect.
June 16, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Babette's Feast is about the two daughters of a minister, Martine and Filippa, who have taken in a woman, Babette, as requested by an old admirer of one of the sisters. Babette requests the sisters if she could hold a French feast for the 100th anniversary of the minister's birth.

The film's plot is fairly light, lacking in any sense of complication that would make the film seem dire but surprisingly the film has kept me interested as the film succeeds in having the audience care about its characters, fleshing them out early in the film and given enough time to ensure they are well established. We are treated to opportunity romances for the two sisters and the reasons why they have taken the path they have chosen. They don't dwell on it in the future, as they fully understand where their responsibilities are and what they need in order to gain a full sense of self-actualization. I think if this area of the film, the exploration of the two sisters, failed to deliver an interesting story and contain poor direction then this entire section would have been a drag and would have significantly drop my regards towards the film. The film brings those elements back in the third act, which was done in a satisfying way; the characters don't suddenly decide to feel a sense of regret or feel a sense of need to change their life or view of the world as that would have felt overly forced and highly sentimental, instead they are left moving forward, not dwelling on the past but focusing on their duty in the present and the future. The third act of the film is all about the feast and it is one of the most riveting third acts I have ever experienced in cinema. There may be a lack of elevated tension but that doesn't matter as the way the food was prepared and delivered to the dining table was marvellous. The reaction on the consumer's faces were both hilarious and dramatic, we see their opinions change and somewhat feel that this night would change their view of the world. I wouldn't have minded if the scene extended for another 30 minutes, just based on pure indulgence.

The film explores ideas of vanity and passion in an effective way that only becomes apparent when one is looking or is willing to accept them. The film doesn't shove these ideas down your throat as the director's concerns lies with the execution of the film's story, ensuring that it's interesting and would have audience be engaged with what is going on. The two sisters live very strictly within the rules of their religion and they confining themselves only within the community as this is the path they have chosen for themselves, both girls had an opportunity to live a "better" life but would that really satisfy and fill their souls? No it wouldn't as they would have been sucked into a world of corruption and vanity that eventually they would find themselves regretting their decision and possibly imploding emotionally. Their simple life is what they feel is necessary to live a full and spiritually satisfying life, so it is understandable the threat they feel when Babette has asked for a French feast, as they saw cruel and horrific things, which I never completely saw as ridiculous because it is in its own way "evil" if one can see it that way. Babette's luscious cooking can be seen as over-indulgent, gluttonous, and vein but it is when one hears and sees Babette's side, then they understand. Babette has a passion for cooking and her intentions are good, it's about spreading happiness through her art. True, one can see that there is a selfish motive in Babette's action as by doing this, does give her a sense of pleasure in an indulgent kind of way, but that is humanity. Sometimes it is hard for humans to perform a completely selfless act as it is in our nature to care for our personal needs first. Even the two sisters have shown a sign of weakness from their faith, constantly worrying about Babette, whether or not she would eventually abandon them. The director ensured that by the end of the film, everyone is at an even playing field, and ensures that each person in the film is within arm's length.

The film's photography was gorgeous, with a couple of location shots that would have one drop their jaws to the floor. Though the film does take most of its place indoors, but this doesn't mean the film's beauty has suffered as the cinematographer, along with the contributions by the art and set designers, have created interiors that are appropriate for its period and setting but most important beautiful. The designers are aware that simplicity is the key in order to have the set feel in tune with the characters' personalities. If one looks at the walls and tables, there are barely anything on them that would make one take notice, because there is nothing about these women that shows a sense of vanity. It is their spiritual beauty that defines them, not the beauty of external materials. The costume department also did a wonderful job, providing scene after scene of appropriate but beautiful costumes that speaks a lot about the characters and the environment they are living in. Watching the scene with the feast was highly effective in contrasting the highly sophisticated French general and the individuals around him; his blue uniform stands out from the crowd as everyone else is wearing monotonous colors. Though there were times where I did wish the film's photography was more dynamic but I guess that would have been asking too much.

The film's score was wonderful. The sound of piano and violins subtly playing in the background during particular scenes were effective, capturing the feelings of being in the countryside and the avoidance of large pieces allowed the film to capture that simplistic tone that the film's story and characters were going for. The particular piece that plays at the end of the film was beautiful; I just didn't want it to end.

The acting in this film was great, featuring wonderful performances from Bodil Kjer, who plays Filippa, and Birgitte Federspiel, who plays Martine. The actresses who play their younger selves were also a wonderful to watch. Stephane Audran as Babette was great in the role, particularly during the final minutes of the film where she gives a bit of information to the sisters about her past and where her future intentions are. I apologise that I am not able to discuss their performance thoroughly as I personally feel that I need another watch to take it all in.

Babette's Feast is an amazing film that tells such a simplistic story in a highly effective approach. It contains beautiful photography and a score that never falters. This is one of the rare films that I do not require a rewatch to thoroughly determine how I feel about the film, Babette's Feast is perfect.
½ May 8, 2014
Religiously speaking, Babette's Feast is an interesting exploration of the incompatibility of religious abstinence and dedication, 2 seemingly correlated clerical concepts. Despite nothing mind-blowing happening, Stéphane Audran's dishes are certainly delicate treats to your eyes (and stomach perhaps).
Page 1 of 41