Babette's Feast (1987)

The French cook of two pious elderly sisters conjures up a lavish banquet in this funny, touching and mouthwatering fable about faith, missed opportunities and the good things in life.

Stills must not be reproduced, copied or downloaded in any way.

Film details

Alternative titles

  • DINING WITH BABETTE Alternative
  • Le FESTIN DE BABETTE Alternative
  • BABETTE'S FEAST Alternative
  • BABETTES GAESTEBUD Alternative

Introduction

Adapted with great sensitivity and invention from Isak Dinesen’s short story (itself inspired by The Tempest), this truly lovely tale of everyday passion, magic and miracles is a delicacy to savour. Relocating the story from a bourgeois Norwegian port to a remote, windswept Jutland hamlet so steeped in Lutheran spirituality it feels like something out of a Dreyer film, Axel traces the strange chain of events that led to the two elderly daughters of a famously pious pastor taking on, as their cook, a Parisienne who was until the advent of the Commune one of the city’s most celebrated chefs.

At once poignant and funny, gently ironic and quietly compassionate, the story – beautifully performed by all concerned (some faces are familiar from Dreyer and Bergman), but most especially by Audran, clearly relishing her role as a gastronomic wizard – casts its spell carefully yet confidently, culminating in the titular banquet: improbable, mouthwatering, supremely regenerative.

A serenely joyous hymn to human creativity, all sorts of love and the small glories of life on earth.

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top