Capital Celluloid 2023 — Day 111: Fri Apr 21

Babette's Feast (Axel, 1987): Cinema Museum, 7.30pm

Cinema Museum introduction: Wonder Reels return to the Cinema Museum with their unique events featuring live performances from outstanding London musicians followed by a 35mm screening of a full feature film chosen with the artist in mind. Opening the door to a more sensual world, we will start with a concert by artist Phoebe Coco whose music is equally beautiful, haunting and delicious. See her latest video here. The concert will be followed by a 35mm projection of Babette’s Feast, Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988, staring Stephane Audran in a captivating tale of mystical awakening through the pleasures of food.

5 stars

Time Out review: One of the few foreign language films your unadventurous grandmother might enjoy, ‘Babette’s Feast’ is a cosy, appetising but ever-so-slightly complacent period tale from 1987. In remotest 19th-century Denmark, a pair of elderly, benevolent Protestant sisters have, through a series of coincidences, acquired a kindhearted French maid. But when Babette (Stéphane Audran) announces her intention to cook a slap-up French feast for the townsfolk, she comes up against a broad streak of local Puritanism. Dealing gently but considerately with life, love, loneliness, old age, religion and class, ‘Babette’s Feast’ is a philanthropic, aren’t-people-great sort of film, a celebration of fairness and generosity. But this soft focus extends to the characters who, with the exception of our heroine, are fuzzily sketched and forgettable. This is a pleasant but overgenerous and predictable film, so eager to embrace the good in people that it never fully succeeds as drama. Tom Huddleston

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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