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Babettes Gæstebud (Babette's Feast) (1987)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 8,923

My Rating

Movie Info

The Danish/French Babette's Feast is based on a story by Isak Dinesen, also the source of the very different Out of Africa (1985). Stephane Audran plays Babette, a 19th century Parisian political refugee who seeks shelter in a rough Danish coastal town. Philippa (Bodil Kjer) and Martina (Birgitte Federspiel), the elderly daughters of the town's long-dead minister, take Babette in. As revealed in flashback, Philippa and Martina were once beautiful young women (played by Hanne Stensgaard and


Drama, Romance, Art House & International

Gabriel Axel

Jan 23, 2001

MGM Home Entertainment

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (1) | DVD (5)

The acting is impeccable and the ambience suffused with delicate charm, but overall this doesn't aim at anything higher than Masterpiece Theatre or a Merchant-Ivory film.

January 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (4)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A pleasant but overgenerous and predictable film, so eager to embrace the good in people that it never fully succeeds as drama.

February 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

essentially a fable ... stands the test of time

August 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

a simple film of great feeling and generosity

August 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

The film leaves us with a haunting echo of the roads not taken, as the characters ask themselves: have they made the most of their gifts?

August 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemania

While Babette's Feast is bleak, and often ponderous and stony, it eventually resolves as a moving hymn to art.

July 23, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

It's a flawless adaptation of the story Isak Dinesen (pseudonym of Karen Blixen) wrote for a bet that she could be published in the popular middlebrow Saturday Evening Post.

December 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

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.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Light, frothy and sweet on the tongue, but lacking nutrition.

December 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Twenty-five years on, the story is still charming and beguiling.

December 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Melancholy bliss.

December 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Still good enough to eat.

December 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audran is luminous as the centre of a gentle, generous film about grace. Oh, and grub.

November 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Undoubtedly the warmest of all Scandinavian films about religion.

December 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

A heartwarming feast for adults. May bore kids.

September 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Despite the austerity of the characters and local, this quiet gentle Danish film, the surprise winner of the 1987 Best Foreign Oscar, won over audiences with its subject of food, and the preparartion of a feast to end all feasts-- by Stephane Audran!

November 7, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Scrumptious and beautifully crafted

September 27, 2003
Kalamazoo Gazette

Still the gold standard of food movies.

April 21, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

A literate and lovely-to-look-at film that compels us to meditate upon the needs of the flesh and the gifts of the spirit.

September 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

A quiet celebration of the divine grace that meets us at every turn, and even redeems our ways not taken, our sacrifices and losses.

May 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide | Comment (1)
Decent Films Guide

At turns philosophical and sensual, this hauntingly elegaic film resonates.

September 24, 2001 Full Review Source: All Movie Guide
All Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Babettes Gæstebud (Babette's Feast)

This film is nothing less than a flawless, sublime masterpiece, so perfectly directed and never ceasing to surprise us at how its fabulous script holds so much complexity in every minute detail of its apparently simple story. It is an unforgettable ode to art, gift, love and grace.
October 15, 2013

Super Reviewer

This film really moved me when I first saw it many years ago. I just rewatched it and I think that I enjoyed it even more this time around.

On the surface it is a very simple film, but the currents that run below the surface are very deep and complex. The film is beautiful, sad, depressing, inspiring and heartwarming all at once.

It is made all the more powerful by the wonderfull acting and beautifull cinematography. A true classic in every sense of the word.
September 16, 2010
Robert C

Super Reviewer

Set in a rugged fishing village in 1871 Denmark, shows the impact of a French housekeeper (Stephane Audran) on two pious sisters who carry on their late father's work as pastor of a dwindling religious flock. Danish director Gabriel Axel's understated but finely detailed work centers on the preparation and consumption of an exquisite Gallic meal, a sensuous labor of love which has a healing effect on the austere sect and the Frenchwoman who prepared it. This film has so much power and warmth.
August 5, 2010

Super Reviewer

One of the longest hour and forty minute films I've ever sat through. The movie wasn't primarily my cup of tea (ha!), but I respect certain aspects of it's storytelling ability and it's skill for fleshing its chief characters out masterfully. It's an extremely slow, and often boring movie, but its one that does have some good elements to it. Just not enough for me to say it's totally worth one's time - only if you're really into food, then this might be the movie for you, might be.
July 6, 2010
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

    1. Babette Hersant: An artist is never poor.
    – Submitted by Kenji D (9 months ago)
    1. Lorenz Lowenhielm as an old man: Mercy and truth have met together. Righteousness and bliss shall kiss one another. Man in his weakness and short-sightedness believes he must make choices in this life. He trembles at the risks he takes. We do know fear. But no, our choice is of no importance. There comes a time when your eyes are opened and we come to realize that mercy is infinite. We need only await it with confidence and receive it with gratitude. Mercy imposes no conditions. And lo! Everything we have chosen has been granted to us and everything we have rejected has also been granted. Yes, we get back even what we have rejected. For mercy and truth have met together and righteousness and bliss shall kiss one another.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Latest News on Babettes Gæstebud (Babette's Feast)

February 12, 2014:
Gabriel Axel: 1918-2014
The "Babette's Feast" director has passed away at the age of 95.

Foreign Titles

  • Babettes Fest (DE)
  • Babette's Feast (UK)
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