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Babette's Feast U rating

Gabriel Axel’s Oscar-winning story of a Parisian chef who finds refuge in a Danish village; a magical film about the power of the senses.

Drama 1987 99 mins

Director: Gabriel Axel

Overview

Gabriel Axel’s superb adaptation of Isak Dinesen’s short story (itself inspired by The Tempest) concerns two elderly sisters living in a remote, ascetically religious Danish hamlet in the 1870s. How did they come to employ a Parisian chef (Stéphane Audran) as their housekeeper? And how might she reward their kindness? A magical film about lost opportunities, the power of the senses, and the transformative nature of art.

The first Danish winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Babette's Feast is also the first Danish adaptation of the work of the acclaimed Karen Blixen (under the pen name Isak Dinesen), best known for Out of Africa. Quiet and unpretentious, Babette's Feast was a landmark piece of Danish cinema from its release, and could be described as a gentle masterpiece.