Babette's Feast (1987)
Last night, I enjoyed the first of several holiday meals planned with friends over the coming weeks. (I had the duck.) I was reminded last night of a marvelous film about family, friends and food from 1987, Gabriel Axel's Babette's Feast. Sumptuous, elegant and atmospheric only begin to describe the wonder of this film set in the 1800s about a French refugee who seeks shelter in the home of two pious elderly sisters in a port town in Denmark and all three rediscover the vitality of life. Based on a Isak Dinesen story, Axel filmed the preparation of the titular banquet with nearly anthropological detail. It's a cinematic feast that's perfectly suited for the holidays. Highly recommended (but maybe not on an empty stomach).