7.2/10
7,573
84 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
W.D. Sprenger W.D. Sprenger ... Noisy customer
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:

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:

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 Mario and Lina get ready to cook dinner at Martha's apartment, Lina puts on her apron twice. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Remade as No Reservations (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Do It In A-Flat
Written by Steve Reich
Performed by M. Segal, Steve Reich (as S. Reich), J. Gunkel (possibly Johannes Gunkel , M. Fonfara (possibly Michael Fonfara)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If you ever needed a reason to learn German
25 October 2005 | by Stephen-34See all my reviews

You have it now. Buy, don't rent this film. It's a keeper. Most notable and with great kudos to the director, the films stays true to itself almost all the way through. Far enough to beat out most other films. There are a few quibbles toward the end of the film, but not enough to shake off the aura it imparts just giving yourself over to its story.

The camera moves efficiently and cleanly throughout the film, and the actors respond with clean understated action and dialog.

The story is spare, and I found what I think is a clue to the writer's intention, as the protagonist describes the menu purpose of "Fish in Butter and Basil sauce." Listen for it and see if you don't agree, she is speaking to us about her story/film.

To own this is, like Nurse Betty, to own something you just have to pull out and watch a couple of times a year. just because they're so darn good.

No wonder the folks in H'wood are busy at making an American version for 2007.


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