7.3/10
6,883
84 user 57 critic

Mostly Martha (2001)

Bella Martha (original title)
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.

Director:

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
14 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Le Grand Chef (2007)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young, incredibly talented chef quits the profession after a contest to head a world-class restaurant ends in tragedy. Retiring to a small rural town with his grandfather, he finds a new ... See full summary »

Director: Yun-su Chong
Stars: Kang-woo Kim, Won-hie Lim, Ha-na Lee
Big Night (1996)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A failing Italian restaurant run by two brothers gambles on one special night to try to save the business.

Directors: Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci
Stars: Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Marc Anthony
Haute Cuisine (2012)
Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of Danièle Delpeuch and how she was appointed as the private chef for François Mitterrand.

Director: Christian Vincent
Stars: Catherine Frot, Arthur Dupont, Jean d'Ormesson
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The life of a top chef changes when she becomes the guardian of her young niece.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In this super-feel-good foodie comedy, young Manhattan chef Samir rediscovers his heritage and his passion for life through the enchanting art of cooking Indian food.

Director: David Kaplan
Stars: Kevin Corrigan, Dean Winters, Jess Weixler
Le Chef (2012)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A veteran chef faces off against his restaurant group's new CEO, who wants to the establishment to lose a star from its rating in order to bring in a younger chef who specializes in molecular gastronomy.

Director: Daniel Cohen
Stars: Jean Reno, Michaël Youn, Raphaëlle Agogué
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Paul Liebrandt is one of the most talented and controversial chefs in the food world and the youngest chef to have received 3 stars from the New York Times. He was 24. NY Times food critic,... See full summary »

Director: Sally Rowe
Stars: Heston Blumenthal, Daniel Boulud, Frank Bruni
Tortilla Soup (2001)
Comedy | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A Mexican-American master chef and father to three daughters has lost his taste for food but not for life.

Director: Maria Ripoll
Stars: Hector Elizondo, Jacqueline Obradors, Tamara Mello
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters; the middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Sihung Lung, Yu-Wen Wang, Chien-Lien Wu
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father, the local minister, and their church. Both had opportunities to leave the village: one ... See full summary »

Director: Gabriel Axel
Stars: Stéphane Audran, Bodil Kjer, Birgitte Federspiel
Tampopo (1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.

Director: Jûzô Itami
Stars: Ken Watanabe, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Comedian Harmonists tells the story of a famous, German male sextet, five vocals and piano, the "Comedian Harmonists", from the day they meet first in 1927 to the day in 1934, when they ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Vilsmaier
Stars: Ben Becker, Heino Ferch, Ulrich Noethen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maxime Foerste ...
...
Mario
August Zirner ...
Sibylle Canonica ...
Katja Studt ...
Lea
...
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)
Edit

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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mostly Martha  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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
See  »
Edit

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 Martha and Mario first kiss, he leans to the right with the left side of their noses touching. In the next shot he's leaning to the left. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Martha Klein: Then it must be the sugar.
Martha's Therapist: The sugar?
Martha Klein: Did you get the Belgian vergeoise like I told you?
Martha's Therapist: Are you telling me that you can taste what kind of sugar I've used?
Martha Klein: Of course not, but I can taste which kind you didn't use.
Martha's Therapist: [she smiles softly as he leaves] I give up. I'll be right back.
See more »

Connections

Remade as No Reservations (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Angelina / Zooma Zooma (Medley)
1991 Capitol Records, Inc.
Written by Allan Roberts (as Roberts) and Doris Fisher (as Fisher) / Paolo Citarella (as Citarrelly) and Louis Prima (as Prima)
Performed by Louis Prima
© Published by Peer / Melodie der Weld Musikverlage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Assured, intelligent, charming
21 January 2003 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

A strange thing about the food: some of it, like the bird-cooked-in-pig's-bladder which Martha describes in loving detail in order to have something to talk about while she's with her therapist, sounds good, and perhaps even looks good, without being in the least bit appetising. You'd have to be mad to actually eat anything that's been cooked in a pig's bladder. But Martha is probably right aesthetically, if not in any other way: if she says the best way to cook the bird is in a pig's bladder, then you'd better believe it.

Martha is a superb creation. She's a good chef. (She may be the best chef of any film ever made.) When her boss sends her to a therapist, she talks about food and cooking, which interest her, rather than about herself, which doesn't interest her. She goes to therapy because her boss orders her to, and when her therapist (who's no fool either) asks her why she thinks her boss orders her to, she says, as though considering the question for the first time, that she doesn't know – and she clearly doesn't care, either.

When various people (her orphaned niece, an Italian cook) come along to disrupt her life, we're on her side in wanting her to retain control; and although these likable people DO successfully disrupt her life, she does successfully retain control; so everyone wins. And it's hard not to admire someone who can not only insult the philistines who eat at the restaurant where she works but who know how to do so properly. These people don't know how good they have it. I'd rather be insulted by her than flattered by some spineless flunky.

The script, word for word, and moment for moment, is as perfectly judged as one of Martha's dishes. The IMDb user who says of Lina: "She didn't cry when her mother died, but she was really upset when Martha forgot to pick her up. It wasn't her fault, it was the script's" merely shows how much his sensibilities have been coarsened by Hollywood cliché. In fact, the film shows genuine insight into the way people naturally react, not the way lazy screenwriters would like to train them to react. Lina reacts to her mother's death not with the usual screen histrionics but by not eating. Tears are reserved (as they are in life) for less important misfortunes.

This is an assured, intelligent, charming film. Even the use of music shows an unerring touch. I'm eager to see what Sandra Nettelbeck does next.


41 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Remake with Catherine Zeta-Jones? soyarra-1
umm...what about Sam? Moviefanatic21
Mostly Martha music jeffjuster
How did the movie end? pavane
everyone liked this? chinpeng
Is this movie dubbed? daledeloy
Discuss Mostly Martha (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?