The Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, New York, hosts a recurring series called Sunday Schmooze, and on offer this weekend is Gabriel Axel’s 1987 gem Babette’s Feast. The Oscar-winning drama, based on a short story by Danish author Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen), was the first feature from Denmark to win the Academy Award for best foreign language film. Set in a coastal Danish village in the late nineteenth century, the film centers on the austere lives of Martine and Filippa, two pious, middle-aged daughters of a pastor, and Babette, a mysterious woman who has arrived from France and begins working as the sisters’ housekeeper. When, many years later, Babette wins 10,000 francs in a French lottery, she chooses to spend her earnings preparing a lavish French meal for her employers and their devout community.
Both a sensuous ode to artistic expression and a smorgasbord of culinary pleasures, Axel’s spiritual drama will get a breakfast-hour screening (with bagels!) this Sunday in Huntington. In the meantime, watch our Three Reasons video for Babette’s Feast.