Babette's Feast and the Reclamation of Melodrama

“We need to take a minute to consider how anomalous a genre weepies really are. Most movies—especially American movies—are essentially dramatic, as opposed to lyrical (concerned with mood or the inner self) or conceptual (concerned with ideas). The weepie’s the exception. It creates an interesting aesthetic problem for the people making it: How do you explore characters, in an essentially visual medium, who are not constantly externalizing their conflicts in action? Babette’s Feast takes that problem and turns it right around, making it work for the movie.” Jim ShepardBabette’s Feast and the Reclamation of Melodrama (Believer Magazine)