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 <email@example.com>
It's almost as if Nettelbeck had been given a recipe for a perfect film - start with the tried-and-tested, take a character living alone, set in his/her ways then saddle him/her with a young kid and simmer the love-hate on a low flame; add a culture clash and vamp til ready -and discarded it in favor of her own ingredients. The culinery metaphor is self-explanatory but it IS fun to see the heavy, lard-based German cuisine slugging it out with the lighter, oil-based Italian style. Up front we have two cold teutonic hearts, aunt and neice and with the introduction of the Italian extrovert chef we know it is only a matter of time til the warm Italian sun thaws the cold aryan hearts. That's pretty much what happens but it is a DELIGHT to go along for the ride and surrender your emotional taste-buds to Nettelbeck's expertise for the entire running time. I've just seen this movie for the second time in about 8 months and I was just as captivated this time around. 9/10
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