Sunday, February 22, 2015

1987 - BABETTE'S FEAST - a very good film.

Babette's Feast is one of the best films I have seen.  How could it miss, the film was based on a story by Karin Blixen a highly regarded writer who was admired by Hemingway, Orson Welles, Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe (?).  The film is a meditation on a certain type of austere Christianity told without a trace of irony or a patronizing smirk.

The cast of the film is made up of actors who had worked with Carl Dreyer, Ingmar Bergman and Claude Chabrol of all people.  Stephanie Audran who had played cool sexy redheads for Chabrol would have seemed an odd choice for the title character but she gives a very good performance in a real change of pace role for her.  The rest of the cast was made up of Danish actors with considerable reputations one of them Bridget Federspiel had worked with Dreyer in Ordet a film which is not unrelated to Babette's Feast in theme.

Needless to say the preparation of the feast is photographed so well and made such an impression on the audience, you can find the recipes for the seven course meal all over the internet.  Particularly fascinating is Babett's signature dish the "cailles en sarcophage", a pastry stuffed with a quail which is in turn stuffed with foie gras.

In the end this is one of the best foreign films I have seen.

102 minutes

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