Oscar night is coming. Are you ready? I'm not. In fact, I almost totally forgot about them this year-- and that's saying something, considering the fact that, as a ten year-old, I decided to memorize every Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (all four categories) for the first fifty years that Academy Awards were being handed out.*
Granted, this is a food blog, but don't worry, I'm not going to start talking about Julie & Julia. While I am thrilled for Miss Streep's much deserved 27,000th nomination for her performance as Mrs. Child, I think they should have renamed the film Julia Child & That Unpleasant Woman Who Is Mean to Her Husband (It's a good thing I'm not in marketing).
So, instead of discussing the already discussed-to-death aforementioned film which, in my opinion, is only half a great film, I'm bringing you two wholly great ones: Babette's Feast (Babette's Gæstebud, 1987) and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie, 1972). Both films (conveniently enough for today's topic) won Oscars for Best Foreign Language film. Even more happy-making, they both star one, particular actress-- Stephane Audran.
There are few food cinema enthusiasts who have not seen Babette's Feast-- gorgeous with it's stark Jutland scenery and quiet story of two pious sisters who take in a (unbeknownst to them) world famous, war-fleeing chef. It is story of food and the balancing of souls. For Babette, her desire is to prepare a special meal to show her love for the two sisters is one that comes from the depths of hers. The sisters, however, fear that to partake in such a meal would imperil theirs.