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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This German film is one of the happiest surprises of the year. Not only is it a well paced, acted, and directed, but it involves the viewer like no other film in recent memory. Director/writer Sandra Nettelbeck deserves praise for bringing this joyous piece to the screen.
Martina Gedleck, as Martha, is perfect as the control freak of the upscale restaurant. Obviously, she can cook, judging by the full houses and the good vibes she generates among the diners. What she has in smarts, she lacks in social graces. Obviously, she doesn't have a life.
Her world is shattered by the arrival of a niece that comes to her under tragic circumstances, and from Mario, the new Italian cook. One can see the new man in her kitchen is too much of a free spirit, who ultimately will be her downfall.
Mario, very nicely played by Sergio Castelletto, is the opposite of his German colleague. It doesn't take long for him to charm the daylights out of Martha. Sparks fly whenever they are on screen together. Both principals have the right chemistry and that's why this film works so well. It will surely disarm anyone in the right state of mind. The only thing is that one must leave the theatre craving for a great meal.
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