Simplicity is beautiful. In “Babette’s Feast,” Philippa and Martina, devoted daughters of a Puritan minister, reject genuine love to resist sin. They grow old in a small village in Denmark and take in a French woman, Babette, who has fled the French Civil War. Their life is simple: going from church to home with a diet consisting of fish and water.
Babette values her secure life within the Puritan community. As Philippa and Martina plan a gathering for the one hundredth anniversary of their father’s birth, Babette becomes determined to cook an authentic meal to show her appreciation to the community.
This movie deserves five stars for depicting human insecurity. At the feast, the villagers ask themselves questions everyone ponders: Did we make the right decisions? Will we be forgiven for our sins?
This movie is simple, yet its narrative includes humor, sorrow and faith. It is a cultural feast: from the period costumes to the sumptuous French delicacies to the maritime landscapes. It shows how all humans question their faith and decisions, whether riding in a Mercedes on the streets of New York City or meandering through the hills of Denmark.
“Babette’s Feast” won the 1987 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It is a must-see movie for the mind and soul!
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.