1 Babette’s Feast
When I came up with the idea of this, this was one of the first films I wanted to see. Naturally, it took me a long time to finally get around to watching it. It was worth it. Babette’s Feast tells the story of a pious town devoted to simplicity and all around blandness. Ok, that’s not the most elegant way of expressing their religion, but it is the most straight forward way. Their clothes are drab, their church is without ornament, and their food is flavorless. There is no room for anything other than the barest essentials. One day, a young woman escaping from France lands on their door, looking for refuge from one of France’s many revolutions. She devotes herself to the community as a servant and follows all instructions. One day, she asks if she can prepare a feast for the little community.
This is a deeply religious, and deeply joyful film, and one that is open to interpretation. Catholics may see in this film an affirmation of the sacramental; Protestants will see in this film an allegory of grace and God’s generosity. Either way, the film is excellent and well worth watching.
2 Daisy Kenyon
Daisy Kenyon is a classic love triangle with Joan Crawford at the center. Joan Crawford plays a woman involved in an adulterous relationship when she meets a returning soldier. She must decide between the two men, even after she marries one of them.
This film is told in film noir style, and in film noir style it tackles themes such as adultery, divorce, and stalking. I watched this film strictly for this list but I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it! Joan Crawford plays well against Henry Fonda and all of the characters in the cast, and I was genuinely invested in her plight.
Gloria tells the story of an elderly divorced woman who finds herself back on the market in Santiago, Chile. She meets an elderly man and they begin a torrid affair.
Gloria tells the story of a woman approaching the golden years of her life. Despite her troubles, Gloria does not let her age define her. Gloria can still meet and have sex with men, shoot a paintball gun at an ex lover’s house, and dance the night away. In an industry that refuses to tell stories of older women who aren’t Meryl Streep (no offence), it is refreshing.