Drama | Danish, French, Swedish with English subtitles | 102 minutes
Babette is a French female chef de cuisine of five-star repute who is forced to leave Paris during the uprisings of 1871. She ends up in a Danish fishing village. Babette seeks a position as a housekeeper/cook in a home inhabited by two spinster sisters, Philippa and Martine. When the sisters tell Babette they are too poor to pay a salary, Babette offers to work for free. Babette cooks, washes, sews and brings order to the household. What emerges is a very warm affection between Babette and the sisters. When Babette wins 10,000 francs in the French lottery, she decides to blow it all on a huge French banquet for townspeople and friends. The sisters are shocked and moved that Babette spent all her winnings on this feast. Babette tells the sisters she now has something more enduring and more fulfilling than money. She’s happy!
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
- Metacritic Score: 78
- Academy Awards: Winner, Best Foreign Film
- BAFTA Awards: Winner, Best Film; Best Actress (Stéphane Audran); Best Adapted Screenplay (Gabriel Axel)
- London Critics Circle Film Awards: Winner, Best Foreign Language Film; Best Actress (Stéphane Audran)
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Director Gabriel Axel succeeds where it really counts. On the screen he serves up the famous dinner with vigor and juicy detail. The original story is faithfully told. Sweden’s Jarl Kulle, one of Ingmar Bergman’s favorite actors, matches Audran in wit and depth. VARIETY staff
Taking a story from Isak Dinesen’s last collection, Gabriel Axel has made a very handsome, very literary movie. Subtitles, under most circumstances, are simply a necessary intrusion. In this case, however, they have the unity of the tale.
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