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3.8
965 Ratings

Babette's Feast

Babettes gæstebud

Directed by Gabriel Axel
Denmark, 1987
Drama, Romance, History

Synopsis

Cook Babette Hersant had to flee France and ends up as a housekeeper for two unmarried sisters in western Jutland, Denmark, in 1871. When Babette wins the lottery, she decides to spend the money on a sumptuous meal for these melancholic and frugal people.

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Babette's Feast Directed by Gabriel Axel

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1987 | Special Mention: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Un Certain Regard)

Academy Awards

1988 | Winner: Best Foreign Language Film

Axel uses Audran’s wondrous calm to great effect, as when Babette — who back in her Paris days was a cordon bleu chef — must listen to her elderly female employers’ long-winded explanations of how to prepare salt cod, ale-bread soup, and other horrors.
April 02, 2018
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Hardly subtle about stoking our gustatory desires, and eager to flaunt some magic-hour photography, Axel shows an impressively soft touch elsewhere, leaving Babette’s tragic backstory offscreen and conveying a collective, pleasure-based epiphany while respecting the characters’ fundamental reserve.
May 22, 2017
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Its tone, its humor, its kindness, its flashes of sardonic wit, the ease and confidence of its storytelling—all these attributes seem, at times, self-perpetuating, and independent of mere human agency. It is as if the best stories, miraculously, write themselves. Axel’s film manages to capture this anonymous and folklorish quality. Faithful to the story, he has made grace visible, and given us, in addition, a wonderful lesson in courtesy.
July 22, 2013
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