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Alexander Payne Will Reimagine ‘Babette’s Feast’ in Minnesota for Next Feature

Written by on December 2, 2019 

It hasn’t been an easy last few years for Alexander Payne. After his misunderstood drama Downsizing didn’t connect with audiences, he recently tried to get a few projects off the ground to no avail. Earlier this fall, his Mads Mikkelsen-led road movie for Netflix was canceled a week before production due to rights issues, then we haven’t heard any updates about his Emma Stone- and Ralph Fiennes-led horror-comedy The Menu nor his true story drama The Burial. He now looks to be back on track with a new feature and it’s one that will have him rethinking a classic.

Deadline reports he’s set to direct a “re-imagining” of Gabriel Axel’s 1987 Oscar-winning masterpiece Babette’s Feast. Scripted by comedian-writer Guy Branum (The Other Two, The Mindy Project), this English-language version will take place in “a religious community in small-town Minnesota, where two older, unmarried sisters accept a refugee, who leads them to confront their regrets over an extraordinary meal.”

Axel’s original, which follows a Parisian refugee cooking a lavish French meal for a conservative village in Denmark, is one of my favorite films of all-time–a gorgeous, spiritually rich stunner. One can imagine Payne’s unique eye for the American midwest being a strong fit for revisiting this material. As we await casting details, see the trailer for the original below and watch it on The Criterion Channel.


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