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Gabriel Axel

Oscar-winning Danish director of Babette's Feast

In April 1988, a week before his 70th birthday, the film director Gabriel Axel, who has died aged 95, walked up on stage at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles to receive the best foreign language film Oscar for Babette's Feast (1987), the first Danish movie to achieve that honour. In a mixture of Danish and French, the slim, grey-bearded, bespectacled Axel quoted a line from the character of the General in the film: "Because of this evening, I have learned, my dear, that in this beautiful world of ours, all things are possible."

It was the pinnacle of Axel's long career and marked the beginning of a resurgence of Danish cinema. (Another Danish film, Bille August's Pelle the Conqueror, won the foreign language Oscar the following year.) Despite several fine films, there was previously little in Axel's oeuvre to predict the perfection of Babette's Feast.

See full article on The Guardian - Film News