14th December 2018
1987, Danish (subtitles) 103 mins
Set in 19th century rural Denmark, sisters Martine and Philippa grow to spinsterhood under the wrathful eye of their strict pastor father on the forbidding and desolate coast of Jutland, until one day, Philippa's former suitor sends a Parisian refugee named Babette (Stéphane Audran) to serve as the family cook. Over the next 14 years her presence gradually effects changes in the austere community.
When a stroke of good fortune enables her to leave their service and return to France, she takes the opportunity to treat the community to a lavish, multi-course masterpiece of French cuisine, which the film turns into an extraordinary set piece that ranks among the cinema’s most mouth-watering meals.
The film is based on a short story by Danish author Karen Blixen (pen name: Isak Dinesen) whose autobiographical novel about her time in Kenya was the basis for Out of Africa, which swept the Oscars (including Best Picture) in 1985.