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Mostly Martha (2001)
"Bella Martha" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,964 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 83 user | 58 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

When a headstrong chef takes charge of her equally stubborn 8-year-old niece, the tensions between them mount... until an Italian sous-chef arrives to lighten the mood.

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Title: Mostly Martha (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maxime Foerste ...
...
Mario
August Zirner ...
Sibylle Canonica ...
Katja Studt ...
Lea
Antonio Wannek ...
Idil Üner ...
...
Jan
...
Sam Thalberg
Gerhard Garbers ...
Herr Steinberg
Angela Schmidt ...
Frau Steinberg
Diego Ribon ...
Giuseppe Lorenzo
W.D. Sprenger ...
Noisy customer
Victoria Trauttmansdorff ...
Companion (as Victoria von Trautmannsdorf)
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Storyline

In a German restaurant, Chef Martha Klein is the undisputed supreme ruler of the kitchen staff and woe to any customer who would dare criticize her cooking. Her life is firmly centered around cooking which takes on a obsessive level with stubborn single mindedness. Even when she is ordered to take therapy, she still constantly talks about her work and the iron clad control she relishes in her task. All that changes when her sister dies in a car accident, leaving her 8 year old daughter, Lina. Martha takes her niece in and while making enquiries for her estranged father, she struggles to care for this stubbornly headstrong child. Meanwhile at work, a new chef named Mario is hired on and Martha feels threatened by this unorthodox intruder. The pressures of both her private and work life combine to create a situation that will fundamentally call her attitudes and life choices into question while these interlopers into her life begin to profoundly change it. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@rogers.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In Martha's enchanted kitchen, more than the food is starting to simmer. With some special ingredients they just might discover a recipe for passion. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material and mild language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

18 April 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Mostly Martha  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$40,446 (USA) (16 August 2002)

Gross:

$4,158,045 (USA) (17 January 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sergio Castellitto's German wasn't good enough so Frank Glaubrecht was brought in to dub his voice for the German version. See more »

Goofs

When Mario and Lina get ready to cook dinner at Martha's apartment, Lina puts on her apron twice. See more »

Quotes

Mario: [to Frida, about chef Martha] It's your restaurant, but her kitchen. Without her, it's just a pile of metal. It's for her to decide.
See more »

Connections

Remade as No Reservations (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Special Delivery
Written and Performed by Peter Blegvad
© Published by Virgin / EMI Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
exceptionally good movie
5 September 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film is an excellent psychological study of a VERY controlled and emotionally constricted woman who uses food, believe it or not, as a way of avoiding intimacy. She is a superb chef who is incredibly precise and demanding concerning her cooking because she is so uncomfortable with people. However, into her tightly controlled world comes chaos in the form of her niece--whose mother was just killed in an auto accident. Not surprisingly, she has a hard time relating to this child and I was thrilled that her transformation to a whole person took time and wasn't achieved in a Hollywood-style way. Instead, this little girl (who was not overly cute or fake--thank goodness) and a new chef at her restaurant (who was completely unlike her) influence Martha in a way that is believable and satisfying.

By the way, while not quite as good as The Big Night (which came out the same year) or Babette's feast, this movie is VERY reminiscent of them--elevating food to a true work of art.


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