A flawless film. Political refugee Babette throws a dinner party for the entire village in austere 19th-century Denmark, giving a gift for both body and soul. Oscar, Best Foreign Language Film. Introduction by Catherine Murray, Head of Filmmaking/Video Production, St. John’s College.
Director: Gabriel Axel. Denmark, 1987. 102 minutes. Cert: G. Language: Danish
Based on Isak Dinesen’s novel, this is a literary adaptation that makes the transition to screen with grace and dignity, matching every word of the book with a moment, an image or a sound. The story is a simple one, uncomplicated and unfussed. Babette has worked for her sisters all her life. When she wins the lottery, she decides to celebrate by throwing a huge dinner party for all the entire village. Starting from that simple premise the story of Babette, her employers, and the residents of the village are told.
Starring: Stephanie Audran, Bodil Kjer and Brigitte Federspiel