Babette's Feast

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Overview

Babette's Feast, the much-loved 1987 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, is available on DVD through MGM Home Entertainment. The DVD boasts colorful scene-selection menus and can be heard in English, French, Danish, or Spanish, with English, French, and Spanish subtitles. It is presented in 1:66:1 widescreen format with Dolby Digital Stereo Sound. The colors resonate well, resulting in a crisp, atmospheric presentation that had been somewhat lost on VHS. Also included is the theatrical trailer, ...
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Overview

Babette's Feast, the much-loved 1987 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, is available on DVD through MGM Home Entertainment. The DVD boasts colorful scene-selection menus and can be heard in English, French, Danish, or Spanish, with English, French, and Spanish subtitles. It is presented in 1:66:1 widescreen format with Dolby Digital Stereo Sound. The colors resonate well, resulting in a crisp, atmospheric presentation that had been somewhat lost on VHS. Also included is the theatrical trailer, which consists of celebratory quotes played over still images from the film. No other special features come with this DVD. It would have been nice to have included production notes, actor filmographies, or some sort of information on this award-winning film's history. Interestingly, the box states the film is from 1989, then states it won the 1987 Oscar, hinting at a bit of confusion on the part of the DVD manufacturers.
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Special Features

Original theatrical trailer; English: mono; Danish and French: stereo Surround; Spanish: stereo Surround; English, French, Spanish subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
An entrancingly bittersweet and comedic blend of austerity and opulence, Babette's Feast -- which won the 1987 Oscar for Best Foreign Film -- is a delightful combination of the talents of Danish director Gabriel Axel and the luminous French actress Stéphane Audran. Set on the bleak Jutland Peninsula in the 1870s, the film revolves around two spinster sisters Bodil Kjer and Brigitte Federspiel who maintain the strict religious philosophy of their late father, and Babette Audran, a Parisian refugee who turns up on their doorstep seeking refuge and becomes their cook and housekeeper. Fourteen years elapse before it is revealed that Babette is a cordon bleu cook -- a fact that leads to a cathartic event for her, her employers, and the community. This superb adaptation of an Isak Dinesen novella remains true to its literary source, and Axel's cinematic flourishes particularly the deftly deployed flashbacks are as exquisitely delicious as the titular repast itself. Subtle, warm, and altogether engaging, Babette's Feast is a film about missed chances that is not to be missed.
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
The sophisticated and subtle screenplay for Babette's Feast, adapted by director Gabriel Axel, is based on a story written by Isak Dinesen, the writer memorably played by Meryl Streep in the biopic Out of Africa. In the film's first half, the emotional detachment of the pious characters is mirrored in the directorial approach, which allows the narrator to explain the matters before us, keeping us at a distance. When the feast begins, the narrator steps aside, Axel's direction becomes more evocative, and our participation becomes more active. Axel plays things low-key: his camera doesn't swoop or dance, but lingers lovingly over every aspect of the meal. The soundtrack includes some beautiful period music, but Axel mostly allows the sounds of the meal to become the symphony of the feast. Made out of humility and love, the feast is Babette's supreme artistic expression, and her hedonistic present encourages the feasters to look a little more closely at their own lives, as the magical and voluptuous feast dramatically counterpoints their puritanical existence. Babette's offering is a ritual sacrifice, intended to encourage the austere characters with the possibility that their material nourishment may provide spiritual sustenance as well. The film also contains a cultural context, as the political revolutions in 19th century Europe lead to Babette's displacement and the resultant cultural blending of Babette's southern European Catholic sensuality with sober northern European Protestantism. Their pact, to say nothing about the magnificence of the feast, ironically reveals the ineffable truth that Babette's artistic expression of love cannot be properly praised with words. Like the guests' spiritual values, it exists on a higher plane, where simple acts of generosity can erase personal prejudices. The film leaves us with a haunting echo of the roads not taken, as the characters must ponder the paths they have chosen and ask themselves: have they made the most of their gifts? Babette's Feast won several major awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and the British BAFTA Award for Best Film of 1987
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
The sophisticated and subtle screenplay for Babette's Feast, adapted by director Gabriel Axel, is based on a story written by Isak Dinesen, the writer memorably played by Meryl Streep in the biopic Out of Africa. In the film's first half, the emotional detachment of the pious characters is mirrored in the directorial approach, which allows the narrator to explain the matters before us, keeping us at a distance. When the feast begins, the narrator steps aside, Axel's direction becomes more evocative, and our participation becomes more active. Axel plays things low-key: his camera doesn't swoop or dance, but lingers lovingly over every aspect of the meal. The soundtrack includes some beautiful period music, but Axel mostly allows the sounds of the meal to become the symphony of the feast. Made out of humility and love, the feast is Babette's supreme artistic expression, and her hedonistic present encourages the feasters to look a little more closely at their own lives, as the magical and voluptuous feast dramatically counterpoints their puritanical existence. Babette's offering is a ritual sacrifice, intended to encourage the austere characters with the possibility that their material nourishment may provide spiritual sustenance as well. The film also contains a cultural context, as the political revolutions in 19th century Europe lead to Babette's displacement and the resultant cultural blending of Babette's southern European Catholic sensuality with sober northern European Protestantism. Their pact, to say nothing about the magnificence of the feast, ironically reveals the ineffable truth that Babette's artistic expression of love cannot be properly praised with words. Like the guests' spiritual values, it exists on a higher plane, where simple acts of generosity can erase personal prejudices. The film leaves us with a haunting echo of the roads not taken, as the characters must ponder the paths they have chosen and ask themselves: have they made the most of their gifts? Babette's Feast won several major awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and the British BAFTA Award for Best Film of 1987.

The sophisticated and subtle screenplay for Babette's Feast, adapted by director Gabriel Axel, is based on a story written by Isak Dinesen, the writer memorably played by Meryl Streep in the biopic Out of Africa. In the film's first half, the emotional detachment of the pious characters is mirrored in the directorial approach, which allows the narrator to explain the matters before us, keeping us at a distance. When the feast begins, the narrator steps aside, Axel's direction becomes more evocative, and our participation becomes more active. Axel plays things low-key: his camera doesn't swoop or dance, but lingers lovingly over every aspect of the meal. The soundtrack includes some beautiful period music, but Axel mostly allows the sounds of the meal to become the symphony of the feast. Made out of humility and love, the feast is Babette's supreme artistic expression, and her hedonistic present encourages the feasters to look a little more closely at their own lives, as the magical and voluptuous feast dramatically counterpoints their puritanical existence. Babette's offering is a ritual sacrifice, intended to encourage the austere characters with the possibility that their material nourishment may provide spiritual sustenance as well. The film also contains a cultural context, as the political revolutions in 19th century Europe lead to Babette's displacement and the resultant cultural blending of Babette's southern European Catholic sensuality with sober northern European Protestantism. Their pact, to say nothing about the magnificence of the feast, ironically reveals the ineffable truth that Babette's artistic expression of love cannot be properly praised with words. Like the guests' spiritual values, it exists on a higher plane, where simple acts of generosity can erase personal prejudices. The film leaves us with a haunting echo of the roads not taken, as the characters must ponder the paths they have chosen and ask themselves: have they made the most of their gifts? Babette's Feast won several major awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and the British BAFTA Award for Best Film of 1987.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/23/2001
  • UPC: 027616857958
  • Original Release: 1987
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Vistavision (1.66:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: Français, English, Español
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Stéphane Audran Babette Hersant
Jean-Philippe Lafont Achille Papin
Gudmar Wivesson Lorenz Lowenhielm as a Young Man
Jarl Kulle Lorenz Lowenhielm as an old man
Bibi Andersson Swedish Court Lady-in-waiting
Bodil Kjer Old Philippa
Birgitte Federspiel Old Martina
Ebbe Rode Christopher
Hanne Stensgaard Young Philippa
Bendt Rothe Old Nielsen
Vibeke Hastrup Young Martina
Lisbeth Movin The Widow
Pouel Kern The Vicar
Michel Bouquet Voice Only
Ghita Nørby Voice Only
Tina Kiberg Voice Only
Axel Ströbye Driver
Ebba With Lorens' Aunt
Else Petersen Solveig
Asta Esper Andersen Anna
Finn Nielsen Grocer
Holger Perfort Karlsen
Erik Petersen Young Erik
Lars Lohmann Fisherman
Tine Miehe-Renard Lorens' wife
Thomas Antoni Swedish Lieutenant
Gert Bastian Poor Man
Viggo Bentzon Fisherman in Rowboat
Therese Hojgaard Christensen Martha
Cay Kristiansen Poul
Bernadette Lafont
Preben Lerdorff-Rye Kaptajnen
Technical Credits
Gabriel Axel Director, Screenwriter
Henning Bahs Special Effects
Just Betzer Co-producer
Elisabeth Bukkehave Makeup
Bo Christensen Co-producer
Sanna Dandanell Makeup
Michael Dela Sound/Sound Designer
Annelise Hauberg Costumes/Costume Designer
Tom Hedegaard Asst. Director
Finn Henriksen Editor
Grethe Hollenfer Makeup
Henning Kristiansen Cinematographer
Karl Lagerfeld Costumes/Costume Designer
Bente Moller Makeup
Pia Myrdal Costumes/Costume Designer
Lene Nielsen Production Manager
Per Nørgård Score Composer
Lydia Pujol Makeup
Birthe Lyngsoe Sorensen Makeup
Ase Tarp Makeup
Sven Wichmann Art Director, Production Designer
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Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Logo/Main title [1:22]
2. Two pious sisters [4:54]
3. The lieutenant [9:56]
4. The famous singer [6:04]
5. Singing lessons [7:07]
6. Babette's arrival [6:43]
7. Earning her keep [4:11]
8. The frugal shopper [3:38]
9. Unforgiving [3:01]
10. A letter from France [6:56]
11. Imported ingrediants [4:11]
12. Evil temptations [1:34]
13. The final touches [5:28]
14. Dinner is served [5:59]
15. The stars are closer [20:26]
16. 10,000 Francs/Credits [6:24]
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Menu

Side #1
Play Movie
   Menu Group #1 with 16 chapter(s) covering 01:43:21
Theatrical Trailer
Languages
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Stark setting for this story of generosity and a clash of cultures.

    A gifted women seeks refuge from social upheaval in France in a remote Danish village, home to an austere, but generous Christian sect. Unmarried sisters whose religious and family devotion has cost them the opportunity to pursue their own love shelter this gifted chef to the advantage of the whole community who benefit from her culinary talents. Babette heals, becomes involved in the community, and tries to show her gratitude to the people with a magnificent feast when she comes into an unexpected windfall. This gift is received with mixed feelings by the people who pride themselves on resisting the pleasures of the flesh.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A great food movie

    This has been one of my favorite movies for a long time. Based on a story by Isak Dinesen, it tells the story of two sisters, daughters of a minister, who gave up their chances of worldly success and love for lives of self-sacrifice and renunciation. They support, and then continue, their father's ministry and charitable works. Later in life, they take in an addition to their household: a mysterious French refugee named Babette, who enables their charitable work by devotedly cooking, cleaning, and serving them. After winning the lottery, Babette asks to serve the sisters and their guests a 'French dinner.' The sisters dread that this decadent French feast will be sinful and shocking, but it turns out to be a revelation of the spiritual and material in harmony.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Christian Film with Depth

    Pointed toward the eucharist, but also the promised meal in heaven, this film inspires the grace it discusses. I think its the best film ever made and I thank God for the odd way it came to my attention. Hallelujah!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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