Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Babette's Feast and The Criterion Collection

“Under [Babette's] eyes things moved, noiselessly, into their proper places...  
From the day when Babette took over the housekeeping its cost was miraculously reduced, and the soup pails and baskets acquired a new, mysterious power to stimulate and strengthen their poor and sick.” 
- Isak Dinesen, Babette's Feast

Many have touch-base movies that they revisit annually.

For some, it is Babette's Feast, and perhaps the excellent Criterion Collection print. While one cannot indiscriminately recommend the film due to its subtitles and very slow pacing,  Criterion did its typically thorough job with the transfer and even the packaging, which includes a full text of the short story. (Alternatively, the audio recording of Babette's Feast, read by Colleen Dewhurst, is also wonderful.)
While touch-base movies are more satisfying to own, there is a new subscription streaming service, Filmstruck <https://www.filmstruck.com/>, that offers The Criterion Collection, as well as other independent and classic movies, all uncut, which has a special appeal on snowy days.  Filmstruck is offering a free 14 day trial, but Roku owners may want to wait until it supports that platform before testing it out.


  1. Love Babette's Feast. My daughter is home for the snow storm - great suggestion for our afternoon. 45 Years with Charlotte Rampling from Criterion is another good one.

  2. I bought this years ago based on your recommendation and did not regret it.

  3. My favorite part of this movie is when the worldly military visitor recognizes the quality of the wine and the food.

  4. "Chocolat" over and over again.

  5. This is definitely one of my touchstone movies, along with "The Bishop's Wife."