Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud) (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud) (1987)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud) Trailers & Photos

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 Vibeke Hastrup), who'd forsaken their chances at romance and fame, taking hollow refuge in religion. Babette holds a secret that may very well allow the older ladies to have a second chance at life. This is one of the great movies about food, but there are way too many surprises in Babette's Feast to allow us to reveal anything else at this point (except that Ingmar Bergman "regulars" Bibi Andersson and Jarl Kulle have significant cameo roles).. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Gabriel Axel
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 23, 2001
MGM Home Entertainment


Stéphane Audran
as Babette Hersant
Bodil Kjer
as Filippa
Jarl Kulle
as Lorens
Vibeke Hastrup
as Young Martine
Gudmar Wivesson
as Lorenz Lowenhielm as...
Bibi Andersson
as Swedish Court Lady-i...
Hanne Stensgaard
as Young Philippa
Bendt Rothe
as Old Nielsen
Ebbe Rode
as Christopher
Lisbeth Movin
as The Widow
Ghita Nørby
as Narrator
Pouel Kern
as The Vicar
Tina Kiberg
as Philippa [singing]
Ebba With
as Lorens' Aunt
Erik Petersen
as Young Erik
Lars Lohmann
as Fisherman
Tine Miehe-Renard
as Lorens' wife
Thomas Antoni
as Swedish Lieutenant
Gert Bastian
as Poor Man
Viggo Bentzon
as Fisherman in Rowboat
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud)

Critic Reviews for Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud)

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (6)

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.

Full Review… | January 29, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

essentially a fable ... stands the test of time

Full Review… | August 14, 2013
Old School Reviews

a simple film of great feeling and generosity

Full Review… | August 11, 2013
Q Network Film Desk

Babette's offering is a ritual sacrifice, intended to encourage the austere characters with the possibility that their material nourishment may provide spiritual sustenance as well.

Full Review… | August 9, 2013

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

Full Review… | July 23, 2013
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.

Full Review… | December 16, 2012
Observer (UK)

Audience Reviews for Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud)

This sublime ode to Art, gift, love and grace should be remembered for its wonderful direction and a magnificent narrative that never ceases to surprise us for what it has to offer and the unbelievable amount of depth that it holds in every detail of its apparently simple story.

Carlos Magalhães

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.

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.

Jeremy Smith

Super Reviewer

Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud) Quotes

Babette Hersant: An artist is never poor.
– Submitted by Kenji D (2 years ago)
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 (4 years ago)

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