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Mostly Martha

Food is the most primitive form of comfort. ~Sheilah Graham


Mostly Martha

=    A Passion for Food leads to Love

"Food is a great passion of mine, and I think it is one of the best visual and most sensual metaphors life has to offer." ~Sandra Nettelbeck, German Director

Martha (Marina Gedeck) is a sexy chef living her life in a very organized fashion. She is single, doesn't have any children and seems to have found the perfect job. As a chef, she takes great pride in her creations and is even willing to confront customers who question her cooking skills, especially if they involve a discussion of how Duck Foie Gras should be cooked. As a perfectionist, she refuses to accept that anything could be wrong with her world, her gourmet cooking or her opinions on food preparation.

What Martha is really lacking is an ability to open up her heart and allow love to flow to those around her. She has a passion for cooking, but not for life. While she seems to take pleasure in her cooking, she doesn't seem to have a sense of humor about her world. Restaurant manager, Frida (Sibylle Canonica), insists that she go to therapy and yet, she rarely deals with her inner world, she is more concerned about recipes. She leaves her therapist (August Zirner) rather confused as he can't figure out why she is in therapy. Even when her sister is in an accident, she deals with the pain by thinking about a Lobster's death.

When an accident leaves her eight-year-old niece, Lina (Maxine Foerste), in need of care, Martha's heart starts to open to the world. Together Lina and Martha take a journey to healing that is not without conflict. Martha not only accepts Lina into her home, she also vows to find Lina's father. I like the way the director doesn't spoon feed the audience, there are often items you don't fully understand until much later in the movie.

Taking on these new responsibilities and dealing with her own sense of loss leaves Martha unable to work for a short period of time. During this time, the restaurant manager hires an eccentric Italian chef. Mario (Sergio Castellitto) is just perfect in this role and introduces a conflict Martha is not equipped to deal with on any level. I loved his sense of humor, the way he played Italian songs in the kitchen and how he inspired frivolity and a joy for life in everyone around him.

While Marina Gedeck adds a sexy beauty to this movie, Sergio Castellitto adds warmth and romance. Martha really becomes like a little piece of chocolate melting in his mouth. If you can imagine how frosty she is at first and then how Mario makes her feel when he finally kisses her.

Some of Martha's facial expressions had me laughing because she is so serious amidst the utter comedy of various situations. I think I could relate to her near "panic attack" when she saw what happened to her own kitchen when Mario comes over to make dinner. That is my favorite scene besides the amazing kissing scene and the picnic scene. There is so much to love in this movie!

"Mostly Martha" is one of those unforgettable "foodie" movies you could watch three times in a row because it makes your world feel sane, calm and comforting. It was shot on locations in and around Hamburg, Germany and in some beautiful locations in Italy. The soundtrack takes this story to new levels and there is an element of intimacy that runs through the entire movie. This movie is thoughtful, romantic and there are wonderful scenes of delicious gourmet cooking.

If you enjoy this movie, you might enjoy other "foodie" movies like:

Scent of Green Papaya – Exotic cooking

Eat Drink Man Woman – Chef Theme

Simply Irresistible – Chef Theme

My Big Fat Greek Wedding – restaurant theme

Chocolat –Chocolate, need we say more?

Babette's Feast – A cold, dreary world warmed by an amazing dinner

Tortilla Soup – Family & Fun, this is a version of Eat Drink Man Woman, chef theme

No Reservations - A remake of Mostly Martha

 

   

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