If you haven't seen this film, you should. Several people had recommended it to me, and I just this past weekend made time to watch it. My only regret is that I waited so long to experience this film. It's one of the best films I've ever seen in my life--beautiful, deeply moving, and spiritual. The feast scene brought tears to my eyes.
Written and directed by Gabriel Axel, from a short story by Out of Africa's Isak Dinesen, this Oscar-winning film offers "an irresistible mixture of dry wit and robust humanity" (Newsweek). On the desolate coast of Denmark live Martina and Philippa, the beautiful daughters of a devout clergyman who preaches salvation through self-denial. Both girls sacrifice youthful passion to faith and duty, each turning down a chance to leave their Danish town, instead staying to care for their father and his small church. Even many years after their father's death, they keep his austere teachings alive among the townspeople. But with the arrival of Babette, a mysterious refugee from France's civil war, life for the sisters and their tiny hamlet begins to change, and the feast the woman prepares in gratitude is eclipsed only by her secret.
*1987: Foreign Language Film