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3 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Mostly Martha
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by Elaine Perrone

"Mostly Marvelous!"
4 stars

SCREENED AT SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2002: The eponymous Martha (Martina Gedeck) in writer/director Sandra Nettelbeck's delightful confection is a neurotic, self-contained German chef ("I'm not compulsive, I'm precise"), who periodically hides in a walk-in freezer rather than having to interact with her staff and customers. When she does interact, the customer is far from always right: The diner who dares to question Martha's approach to cooking not only won't get the meal changed to his standards, he might find himself with a raw steak in his lap.

Martha's world is thrown out of balance when her sister dies in a car accident, forcing her to leave her well-ordered kitchen to make time and a home for her orphaned niece, Lina (Maxime Foerste). Ill-suited to the job of surrogate parenting, Martha constantly locks horns with the understandably troubled Lina, all the while searching for the little girl's father, her sister's estranged husband.

When the restaurant's owner brings in a charming and exuberant Italian chef, Mario (Sergio Castellitto) to take up the slack, Martha of course locks horns with him, as well, until it becomes clear that Mario is the only one who seems to be able to get through to Lina.

Of course, it's not a total surprise that the ebullient Mario finally get through to Martha, too, cracking her hard shell and teaching her that life, like cooking, is art, not science.

Going in to the screening expecting, at most, a trifle, I was delighted to find Mostly Martha in actuality a highly entertaining, and even moving, piece of cinema, beautifully written and acted, peopled with characters for whom we give a great deal of care.

Like all the very best of the food-centric movies (Eat Drink Man Woman, Big Night, Babette's Feast), Mostly Martha is, at its heart, about the power and the importance of family, friendship, and fabulous food.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6073&reviewer=376
originally posted: 07/26/04 01:15:22
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User Comments

1/02/19 Jamie loved it, sweet, believable characters,really good acting, wish there were more like this 5 stars
7/11/07 William Goss Effortlessly enjoyable dramedy about food and family. Good enough for me to dread remake. 4 stars
8/15/04 carla loved it! beautiful characters n great story. fantastic soundtrack 5 stars
6/21/04 Clifford Touching and warm, helped me to understand Suzette better, she cooks, too. 5 stars
6/04/04 Allen Very good. Between 'worth a look' and "awsome" WHy do they make use choose 'awesome?' 5 stars
12/13/03 Louise S Fabulous movie - love the song 's'wonerfool' 5 stars
12/05/03 DB Shite review -Sister dies before Mario gets called in etc etc. Great movie 5 stars
11/28/03 Phil M. Aficionado Thom misses the boat w/ his review; it is heartworming and classy. 4 stars
9/10/03 Nicholas Saparoff Entertaining, with a great soundtrack 4 stars
9/01/03 George Great Great movie 5 stars
8/12/03 Stephen Kim This is a superbly acted, directed movie with an awesome soundtrack. A great foodie film. 5 stars
7/06/03 Lillian Magical and paints the warmest picture of Germany I have ever seen. 5 stars
6/01/03 Christine This movie swept us away and made our evening magical 5 stars
5/05/03 Jonathan Good Movie, funny, great music, very well acted. Worth watching again. 4 stars
4/28/03 Janet Stromberg I loved this film 5 stars
3/05/03 Karolien Such a poor review! There was no brother-in-law, I rest my case! 5 stars
2/26/03 janet Loved all of it! Wish the soundtrack was available 5 stars
2/15/03 judy chaput loved it! 5 stars
1/21/03 Reini Urban Okay, but only for older folks > 35. Best foreign films are "Oasis" and "Open Hearts" 4 stars
10/17/02 Reini Urban Wunderbare Charakterstudio um eine schwierige junge Mutter. Ihr bester Film bislang 5 stars
10/11/02 john totally warms the soul 5 stars
9/30/02 Kathi Schmitt Were you paying attention when you saw this movie? The sister did die, but not the brother 4 stars
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  16-Aug-2002 (PG)
  DVD: 18-Feb-2003



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