Wilmenrot is quite a fascinating character. As a bon vivant who could not really cook the failed actor brought culinary awareness to Germany and failed after a meteroric rise. He did in fact design and present the first cooking show on German television. But he was prone to scandals through gaffes, illicit product placement and the notorious opening of his show with the words "Brothers and sisters in Lucullus". So the subject of this biopic is really quite fascinating. The film itself is entertaining but not very good. The character remains superficial and we find no explanation as to how his decent into alcoholism happened and what it looked like. Liefers gives Welmenrot a funny walk as to indicate he is drunk but we don't see the social impact of his drinking. His affairs are so discreetly hinted at that only after his wife talks about affairs do you realize that he as not just flirting. Liefers like many German actors of his generation is not very versatile and the illusion that he is welmenrot actually just doesn't work. One point is that he looks nothing like him but at the end of the day it's Liefers you see on the screen and not his character. There are scenes between Liefers and his real life wife Anna Loos that makes you wonder if they have ever acted before. The sets and props of the film are splendid and that is part of the problem. Everything looks squeaky clean and very idyllic. Bearing in mind that we are talking about Hamburg in the early fifties when it had been almost destroyed completely in the war that is just not a realistic look at Germany at the time. But the real state of Germany at the time would possibly explain to some extent Welmenrot's success in offering "exotic" dishes like the infamous toast Hawaii as a means of escapism and as a status symbol, a return to normality.
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