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

Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud) Reviews

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October 26, 2017
One of my favorite films. An all-time classic.
½ October 19, 2017
It's an interesting little glimpse at something or other. Pretty original. Not sure if there is any particular point to it. Maybe just, "Oh the wonder of good food and drink!" Maybe we are supposed to roll our eyes (but somewhat lovingly) at the backwards religious nuts. There is a message of gratitude in there. It's nice enough. 7.1 out of 10
½ October 13, 2017
A wonderful, simple movie with eye catching visuals. This movie is a feast for the eyes!
½ July 1, 2017
Denmark, 1870s. Two deeply religious elderly sisters living in an isolated village take in a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian war, Babette. She becomes their housekeeper and is happy to work for no pay. 14 years later, Babette wins a large amount of money in a lottery. The event coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the sisters' father, a devout Christian minister who had a great following in the village. Babette decides to throw a great dinner for the the remaining followers to honour the occasion. One thing: the dinner will be French and once the ingredients start to arrive, the unsophisticated villagers suspect that something unholy is about to take place.

Based on a short story by Karen Blixen (of Out Of Africa fame), this is an engaging, though not overly profound, movie. Starts slowly, showing the sisters' back story and building to the present day. The back story seems unnecessary initially, especially as it seems to wander and add nothing to the overall plot. However, the past, especially the characters therein, will have an important impact on the present.

The movie hits its stride in the second half, especially once Babette wins the lottery. A few themes start to emerge and the story becomes more engaging. An important shift takes place, in that the focus moves from the sisters to Babette, and this makes things much more interesting.

Unfortunately, the themes that emerge don't lead to anything too profound. I had visions of a powerful examination of how people's prejudices prevent them from enjoying life's simple pleasures, or how great art/food is lost on simple folk, but nothing really came of those.

Ultimately, an interesting story, lacking a powerful conclusion. Will make you very hungry though - the food looks fantastic!

Won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988.
½ May 22, 2017
By all rights Babette's Feast should not work for me. I should be reporting that this was a boring and bland waste of time. After all, not much happens in the film, and it is extremely quiet without any excitement. Yet through some strange alchemy that I struggle to understand, it cast a spell on me. It's almost as if the film possesses the same magic that Babette's food held, because it got under my skin and elicited a positive reaction almost despite my reservations.

I thought the acting in Babette's Feast was quite good. It's often hard for me to judge acting quality when everyone is speaking a foreign language, but here there is a lot that is told through silent expressions and that all worked brilliantly. I was also shocked that a couple times the movie got me laughing out loud. It's not really a comedy per se, but there are a few moments that have a comedic edge that worked for me. Many of them come at quiet times, so this would have been a great film to watch with a group to share in the laughter.

The story was a unique one of faith and sacrifice that I connected with in many ways. I liked the structure of the tale, and wondered if there was something more it was leading to, like a dramatic surprise ending. The film does not have those kinds of ambitions, though. It is unassuming almost to a fault. The charm of the story won me over, but Babette's Feast is a rather modest film. As a result it won't fare as well in my ratings and rankings, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy watching it a lot.
½ May 6, 2017
Un film noiosetto e che finisce con un finale buonista che non si può sopportare e che affossa anche le ultime speranze di salvare questo film.
March 11, 2017
This is one of those very rare movies that you should watch, at the very least, every ten years if for no other reason than to see how much life has changed you in the years that have passed. I saw it again recently and cried during scenes in which I'd never cried before. It's a measurement of your personal maturation and how the circumstances of life change your attitudes. It's an exquisite movie and I count it amid my favorites!
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.
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