Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films
Here’s one that not everybody will like and you’ve got to be in the mood but if you are it’s a couple of hours in a completely different world. It’s called Babette’s Feast and it’s the quietest film there has ever been it’s set in a little remote religious community on the coast I don’t know what it is about Danish people but there TV and films can be very moody and atmospheric remember The Killing and Borgen you might not want to live in the worlds they create but there fascinating to visit.
The only link this has with the big time is that it is based on a book by Isak Dinesen who was really a woman Karen Blixen she wrote Out of Africa which was a film starring Meryl Streep but there’s nobody famous in this one.
Babette gets a job in this village as housekeeper for two old sisters whose father was a minister who set up the community but he’s dead and everyone there is getting old and there all very quiet and don’t look happy but in a religious way like they think its wrong to have fun. She’s from Paris but had to get out because there is trouble going on there I don’t know my history too well maybe the French Revolution it’s set in the 19th or 18th century would that be right. Don’t matter anyway.
You see flashbacks to the sisters’ lives when they were younger and they could of married exciting young men in the city and had a different life but their Dad said no. I wouldn’t put up with it would you but them was different times.
The sisters can’t afford to pay Babette but she does it for free and spends 14 years cooking plain food and living the quiet life, even though you can see she is full of life really. Its like me going to live in the Faroe islands and losing touch with my mates and not even having a pub to go down on a Saturday night or any blokes to flirt with when they come in my beauty department with their wives.
Then one day she gets some good news. She has a lottery ticket in Paris that somebody renews every year or buys a new one or whatever and she’s won. 10,000 francs. You might think she would be out of there like a fish off a hook but no, what she does is get someone to buy a load of fancy food and wine and ship it to the little village that’s why it’s called Babette’s Feast you see and I had to tell you that but I suppose I shouldn’t go any further. Actually I’ve watched it loads of times and knowing what happens don’t spoil your enjoyment well my enjoyment it’s the atmosphere.
It turns out she was a brilliant chef at a top Paris restaurant and all these years she has had to cook boring stuff but suddenly she can do what she likes and you see the stuff being unloaded and taken into her kitchen including a turtle which will upset some people but in those days people weren’t so fussy about what they ate as long as it tasted good particularly the French I think there the ones that like frogs legs and snails and stuff like that.
Seems like she spends all of the money on the feast I think I would of kept a bit for myself and buggered off afterwards but that’s just me I guess.
I have watched it with people who can’t wait for it to finish so they can put on Superman 12 and I’ve watched it with people who actually thanked me afterwards its one of those films don’t waste it on someone who won’t appreciate it if there ignorant and only like what the crowd likes their not gonna like it and they’ll think your a bit weird but I don’t care I am a bit weird I suppose and most of us are if you poke around deep enough.