7.8/10
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107 user 80 critic

Babette's Feast (1987)

Babettes gæstebud (original title)
G | | Drama | 4 March 1988 (USA)
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1:28 | Trailer

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During the late 19th century, a strict religious community in a Danish village takes in a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian War as a servant to the late pastor's daughters.

Director:

Gabriel Axel

Writers:

Karen Blixen (short story), Gabriel Axel (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stéphane Audran ... Babette Hersant (as Stephane Audran)
Bodil Kjer Bodil Kjer ... Filippa
Birgitte Federspiel ... Martine
Jarl Kulle ... General Lorens Löwenhielm / Löwenhielm's Father
Jean-Philippe Lafont ... Achille Papin (as Jean Philippe Lafont)
Bibi Andersson ... Swedish Lady-in-Waiting
Ghita Nørby Ghita Nørby ... Narrator (voice)
Asta Esper Hagen Andersen Asta Esper Hagen Andersen ... Anna (as Asta Esper Andersen)
Thomas Antoni Thomas Antoni ... Swedish Lieutenant
Gert Bastian Gert Bastian ... Poor Man
Viggo Bentzon Viggo Bentzon ... Fisherman in Rowboat
Vibeke Hastrup ... Young Martine
Therese Højgaard Christensen Therese Højgaard Christensen ... Martha - Father's Maid
Pouel Kern Pouel Kern ... Pastor
Cay Kristiansen Cay Kristiansen ... Poul
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Storyline

In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father, the local minister, and their church. Both had opportunities to leave the village: one could have married a young army officer and the other, a French opera singer. Their father objected in each case, and they spent their lives caring for him. Many years later - their father is now deceased - they take in French refugee, Babette Hersant, who agrees to work as their servant. After winning the lottery, Babette wants to repay the sisters for their kindness and offers to cook a French meal for them and their friends on the 100th anniversary of their father's birth. It proves to be an eye-opening experience for everyone. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark

Language:

Danish | Swedish | French | Italian | English

Release Date:

4 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Babette's Feast See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,398,938
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With the approval of the director, Audran entrusted the creation of her iconic costume to her long-time accomplice, the stylist Karl Lagerfeld.. See more »

Goofs

In 1871 Babette pays with Skilling, which was the currency used at that time; 14 years later, Babette still uses Skilling, but Denmark changed the currency in 1875 from skilling to kroner and orer. 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.
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Connections

Featured in Le cinéma passe à table (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Duet Là ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni
(uncredited)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
My Favorite Film (and I Love movies)
3 January 2005 | by jerayne1021See all my reviews

Babette's Feast, for me, is about healing: mending the schism between spirit and body in orthodox Christianity. This puritanical community in remote Denmark is missing an adequate appreciation of all of God's gifts in creation. They have taken the dualism of St. Paul to an extreme, and stress the life of the "spirit," not the life of the "flesh." Both elderly sisters, in their youth, were frightened by the lure of love and the temptations of life outside their simple village. They, and their parishioners, cling to the narrow biblical interpretation of their former leader, and the sisters' father. The aging congregation has become testy and quarrelsome, and the sisters don't know what to do. Enter Babette, a French stranger, and someone to whom they can show kindness. They have no way of knowing that she will ultimately return their kindness and give fertile soil to their dry, dusty theology. Babette will give everything she has, and in the process, will teach the sisters and their flock about grace, about sacrifice, about how sensual experience (as in the bread and wine of the Eucharist) can change lives, and about why true art moves us so deeply. When they can forgive each other, and themselves, they can focus on God's love that unfolds before them in a concrete way in the present. As a minister, and an artist, I can't recommend a movie more highly. True art and true grace!!


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