IMDb > Babette's Feast (1987)
Babettes gæstebud
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Babette's Feast (1987) More at IMDbPro »Babettes gæstebud (original title)

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Babette's Feast -- Open-ended Trailer from Orion

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   14,404 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 25% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Karen Blixen (short story)
Gabriel Axel (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Babette's Feast on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 March 1988 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 10 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Spare yet sumptuous See more (105 total) »

Cast

  (Cast overview, first billed only)

Stéphane Audran ... Babette Hersant (as Stephane Audran)
Bodil Kjer ... Filippa
Birgitte Federspiel ... Martine

Jarl Kulle ... General Löwenhielm

Jean-Philippe Lafont ... Achille Papin (as Jean Philippe Lafont)

Bibi Andersson ... Svensk hofdame
Ghita Nørby ... Fortælleren
Asta Esper Hagen Andersen ... Anna (as Asta Esper Andersen)
Thomas Antoni ... Svensk løjtnant
Gert Bastian ... Fattig mand
Viggo Bentzon ... Fisker i robåd

Vibeke Hastrup ... Martine som ung
Therese Højgaard Christensen ... Martha (as Therese Hojgaard Christensen)
Pouel Kern ... Præsten
Cay Kristiansen ... Poul
See more »

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Babettes gæstebud" - Denmark (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
102 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
First Danish movie to win an Academy Award for best foreign language film.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
[in Danish, using English subtitles]
Narrator:In this remote spot there once lived two sisters who were both past the first flush of youth. They had been christened Martina and Philippa after Martin Luther and his friend Philipp Melanchton. They spent all their time and almost all their small income on good works.
See more »
Soundtrack:
Duet Là ci darem la mano from Don GiovanniSee more »

28 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
Spare yet sumptuous, 29 September 2000
Author: shrine-2

The dead spots and picture-postcard superficiality of "Out of Africa" just about buried any interest I might have had to read Isak Dinesen. So when my brother bought me "Babette's Feast," and knowing it was based on a Dinesen story, I didn't exactly race to the VCR. But as the titles rolled, it became clear that this was no ordinary movie. Jutland (where it's set) is not Africa; the chill mist that collects on the camera shots is not inviting. The cold, forbidding sea; the heavy, gray clouds; the pale, icy green cliffs--translate to hardships that show on the faces over which director Gabriel Axel draws the curtain. The craggiest is Bodil Kjer's as Philippa; amid the myriad merits of this movie, the most memorable is that face. It stands like a map laying before us the cherished wonder of her minister father's apostolate; like a maze of long-overlooked fjords where the complications of her congregation's perseverance and commitment hang like gleaming escutcheons.

I gather it's Dinesen's point how the world is drawn inexplicably to Christian dedication, when Philippa is rejected by her only serious suitor (because he fears he'll never measure up to the rules and rigors of her small religious clique), and he returns to find her mistress of whom he regards as the greatest chef on the continent. I figure it's also her point that Christ answers the doubts and regrets of those who give up worldly success (Philippa's sister Martina rebuffs efforts by a visiting baritone (Jean-Philippe Lafont whose jolliness creates an uplifting counterpoint to the sparsity of spirit that surrounds his discovery) to turn her into an opera star; the title character leaves France and an enviable reputation and seeks sanctuary as the servant of two spinster sisters) to pursue artistic triumphs for only God and those closest to Him to witness. But it's Axel who weaves the asperity of these people's lives with the richness of Martina's voice and Babette Hersant's table and effects a sumptuousness you'd never expect from a movie about sacrifice, faith, and religious conviction.

What sets this movie apart from other religious movies is its sly humor. "Babette's Feast," that is, the banquet itself--a posthumous commemoration of the minister's 100th birthday--is a beautifully orchestrated clash of sensibilities that delivers comic moments by an ensemble of actors that are unparalleled in their subtlety. It's just this deft comedy that enriches the solemn sentiments at closing. Together they do something pious movies seldom do. They leave a believer tremulously hopeful and unexpectedly resolute and humbled.

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