Babette's Feast

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Babette's Feast

Gabriel Axel (1987)

U Certificate


Our Score
This Danish film with a French star deservedly won the best foreign film Oscar and transcended the barriers of subtitles to capture the imagination of cinema-goers everywhere. Set in the 1870s, the story unfolds against the background of the grim Jutland peninsula, where two spinster sisters (Bodil Kjer, Birgitte Federspiel), daughters of the former pastor, continue his work in leading the religious sect he founded. Into their lives comes Babette (Stéphane Audran), seeking refuge from war-torn Paris, who becomes their housekeeper. Her presence gradually effects changes in the austere community, culminating in a magnificent feast that she cooks 14 years later, which serves as a profoundly cathartic event in the lives of all. Faithfully and brilliantly adapted by director Gabriel Axel from the story by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), this highly original and deeply poignant tale, leavened with well-judged humour, is that rare thing - a perfect work. It is exquisitely acted, with Audran - no stranger to dinner tables in the films of her husband Claude Chabrol - glowing at the centre. The film began something of a vogue for food as an emblem of love in the cinema, but nothing has equalled it. Resist it if you can.


Two sisters pass up the chance of romance to enjoy a quiet life in their small Danish village, turning to religion as old age draws near - but their lives are changed when they take a Parisian refugee into their care. Oscar-winning period drama based on Karen Blixen's novel, starring Stephane Audran, Jean-Philippe Lafont and Bodil Kjer. In Danish, Swedish and French.

Cast & Crew

Babette Hersant Stéphane Audran
Achille Papin Jean-Philippe Lafont
Young Lorenz Lowenhielm Gudmar Wivesson
Old Lorenz Lowenhielm Jarl Kulle
Swedish court lady-in-waiting Bibi Andersson
Young Philippa Hanne Stensgaard
Young Martina Vibeke Hastrup
Old Philippa Bodil Kjer
Narrator (Danish version) Ghita Norby
Director Gabriel Axel
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Other Information

Language: Danish +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: BFIAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 14 Dec 2012