This is an exquisite film. A feast for all the senses. Um filme lindo, maravilhoso, recheado de simplicidade, tocante, e amo uma das falas em que a atriz principal diz.:""An artist is never poor". Para quem nunca assistiu este filme, vale a pena, trata-se de um filme Dinamarques, com falas alternadas em Frances. Portador de uma beleza visual e espiritual. Confesso que vi este filme quando morava no Estado do Parana, na regiao de Ponta Grossa.
"Babette's Feast begins with a portrait of two elderly and pious Christian sisters. The sisters, Martina (named for Martin Luther) and Philippa (named for Luther's friend and biographer Philip Melanchthon), live in a small village on the remote and beautiful, but also barren and chilly, western coast of Jutland in the 19th century (1871). Philippa (Bodil Kjer) and Martina (Birgitte Federspiel) are the daughters of a pastor who founded his own strict Christian sect. Though the pastor himself has long since died, and the sect draws no new converts, the aging sisters preside lovingly over their dwindling brood of white-haired, rural resident believers.
The story falls back in time to depict how each sister, in her youth, was a ravishing beauty. Each is courted by an impassioned suitor visiting Jutland- Martina by a charming but dissolute young officer of the Swedish cavalry, and Philippa by a recuperating star baritone from the Paris opera. Each of the male suitors falls desperately in love, and develops grand plans both for himself and the "angel" he imagines by his side on the road to worldly renown. But each daughter eventually deflects her pursuer, choosing, instead, a life of quiet piety and Puritanical simplicity in their father's footsteps. Their father has long considered his daughters to be his "right and left hand", and he has spent much of his life ensuring that no one remove his vital appendages, as he is of the belief that marriage and happiness as such is a falsehood.
Many years later, when the sisters are in their fifties, Babette Hersant (Stéphane Audran) appears at their door. She carries only a letter from Philippa's former suitor, the singer Achille Papin, explaining that she is a refugee from counter-revolutionary bloodshed in Paris, and recommending her as a housekeeper. The sisters take Babette in, and she spends fourteen years as their cook, a modest but benign figure who gradually eases their lives and the lives of many in the remote village. Her only link to her former life is a lottery ticket that a friend in Paris renews for her every year. One day, she wins the lottery of 10,000 francs which would surely allow her to return to her former home in adequate style. However, she instead decides to use the money to prepare a delicious dinner for the sisters and their small congregation on the occasion of the founding pastor's hundredth birthday. More than just an epicurean delight, the feast is an outpouring of Babette's appreciation, an act of self-sacrifice with eucharistic echoes; though she doesn't tell anyone, Babette is spending her entire winnings on her gesture of gratitude.
The sisters agree to accept Babette's meal, and her offer to pay for the creation of a "real French dinner". She leaves the island for a few days in order to return to Paris, as she must personally arrange for supplies to be sent to Jutland. The ingredients are plentiful, sumptuous and exotic, and their arrival causes much discussion amongst the clan. As the various never-before-seen ingredients arrive, and preparations commence, the sisters begin to worry that the meal will be, at best, a great sin of sensual luxury, and at worst some form of devilry or witchcraft. In a hasty conference, the sisters and the congregation agree to eat the meal, but to forego any pleasure in it, and to make no mention of the food during the entire dinner.
The last and most relevant part of the film is the preparation and the serving of an extraordinary banquet of royal dimensions, lavishly deployed in the unpainted austerity of the sisters' rustic home. The film, previously showing mainly winterly whites and grays, gradually picks up more and more colours, focusing on the various and delectable dishes, a feast for the spectator as well.
Martina's former suitor, now a famous general married to a member of the Queen's court, reappears as one of the guests (his aunt is the local lady of the manor and a member of the old pastor's congregation). He is unaware of the other guest's austere plans, and as a man of the world and former attache in Paris, he is the only person at the table able to comment on the meal. He provides the guests with abundant and explicit information about the extraordinary quality of the food and drink, culminating in a brief reflective speech based on Psalm 85: "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other". He pronounces that the feast reminds him strongly of similar fare he has enjoyed many years before at the famous "Café Anglais" in Paris. He describes how the chef there was renowned for her extraordinary culinary skills.
Although the other celebrants do their best to reject the earthly pleasures of the food and drink, Babette's extraordinary gifts as a Chef de Cuisine and a true connoisseur, so characteristically French, breaks down their distrust and superstitions, elevating them not only physically but spiritually. Old wrongs are forgotten, ancient loves are rekindled, and a mystical redemption of the human spirit settles over the table — thanks to the general elation nurtured by the consumption of so many fine culinary delicacies and spirits. The eucharistic, albeit mundane celebration around the table shadows the "infinite grace… [that] had been allotted to them, and they did not even wonder at the fact, for it had been but the fulfillment of an ever-present hope."
The menu responsible for their pleasure features "Potage à la Tortue" (turtle soup); "Blini Demidoff au Caviar" (buckwheat cakes with caviar and sour cream); "Caille en Sarcophage avec Sauce Perigourdine" (quail in puff pastry shell with foie gras and truffle sauce); "La Salad" featuring Belgian endive and walnuts in a vinaigrette; and "Les Fromages" featuring Blue Cheese, papaya, figs, grapes and pineapple. The grand finale dessert is "Savarin au Rhum avec des Figues et Fruit Glacée" (rum sponge cake with figs and glacéed fruits). Numerous rare wines, including Clos de Vougeot, along with various champagnes and spirits, complete the menu. Babette's purchase of the finest china, flatware, crystal and linens with which to set the table ensures that the luxurious food and drink is served in a style worthy of Babette, who is none other than the famous former Chef of Café Anglais. Babette's previous occupation has been unknown to the sisters until she confides in them after the meal.
The sisters assume that Babette will now return to Paris, and when she tells them that all of her money is gone and that she is not going anywhere, the sisters are aghast. Babette then tells them that dinner for 12 at the Café Anglais has a price of 10,000 francs. Martina tearfully says, "Now you will be poor the rest of your life", to which Babette replies, "An artist is never poor". Philippa then tells her that in paradise Babette will indeed be the great artist God intended her to be."
Source by Wikipedia, Youtube (HamBunwiches)