7.2/10
7,639
85 user 59 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:

Sandra Nettelbeck
14 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martina Gedeck ... Martha Klein
Maxime Foerste Maxime Foerste ... Lina Klein (Martha's niece)
Sergio Castellitto ... Mario
August Zirner ... Martha's Therapist
Sibylle Canonica ... Frida
Katja Studt ... Lea
Antonio Wannek ... Carlos
Idil Üner Idil Üner ... Bernadette
Oliver Broumis ... Jan
Ulrich Thomsen ... Sam Thalberg
Gerhard Garbers Gerhard Garbers ... Herr Steinberg
Angela Schmidt Angela Schmidt ... Frau Steinberg
Diego Ribon Diego Ribon ... Giuseppe Lorenzo
Wolf-Dietrich Sprenger Wolf-Dietrich Sprenger ... Noisy customer (as W.D. Sprenger)
Victoria Trauttmansdorff 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 inquiries 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:

"Shiawase" wa, honno chotto no sajikagen [Japan] See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | Italy | Austria | Switzerland

Language:

German | Italian

Release Date:

27 September 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mostly Martha See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamburg, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,446, 18 August 2002

Gross USA:

$4,160,475

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,852,022
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

No Reservations (2007) is a remake of this film. It stars Catherine Zeta-Jones as the main character, Abigail Breslin as the niece, and Aaron Eckhart as the romantic lead. 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

Lina Klein: I'm not going without my scarf!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
exceptionally good movie
5 September 2005 | by MartinHaferSee 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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