Babette's Feast (U)


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The Independent Culture

Twenty-five years since it won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, Gabriel Axel's gentle drama of grace and flavour still works a spell.

Stéphane Audran plays the titular chef who has fled Paris in 1871 and fetched up on the wind-whipped Jutland coast to work as maid for two elderly, God-fearing Danish sisters.

When Babette wins the lottery she decides to spend the money on a gastronomic feast the likes of which the sisters and their puritanical neighbours have never before experienced. (I liked the look of the caviar and blinis with the 1860 Veuve Clicquot.)

While it's a great film about food, it's an even better one about exile, self-sacrifice and thwarted love.