Thomas, a young and talented German baker, is having an affair with Oren, an Israeli married man who dies in a car crash. Thomas travels to Jerusalem seeking answers. Keeping his secret for himself, he starts working for Anat, his lover's widow, who owns a small café. Although not fully kosher and despised by the religious, his delicious cakes turn the place into a city attraction. Finding himself involved in Anat's life in a way far beyond his anticipation, Thomas will stretch his lie to a point of no return.Written by
Film Base Berlin
For a book to be a subtle masterpiece is less of a challenge than for a film to be, in my opinion. A classic yawner still has all of those beautiful words on the page, same as a page-turner. But a film is over in 2 hours. An extended take of a close-up of a woman's face is taking up precious time. It can be superfluous. It can be an artistic pretention. Some of the extended takes in The Cakemaker may be Europretentious to some, but to me they are exquisite. It can be a fine line between silly and intelligent when that is done, but Ofir Raul Graizer - the director of the film - pulls it off with elegance every time. That extended close-up of Anat's face, telling us how she is feeling and what she is thinking, is better than words can express. When Oren's mother looks at Thomas in her kitchen but does not say anything, then goes over and touches his face, the look on her face and the tenderness of her gesture conveys so much. There are many examples of this in the film, and if you're a foodie you may be moved to orgasm by the close-ups of people eating Thomas' baked sweets, and even of Thomas preparing them. No words are spoken in these scenes. Overall, The Cakemaker never for a moment ceases to convey humanity so real, so honest, so sensual, that you have stepped into real people's lives and into a real world that is gorgeous not because everyone is beautiful and happy, but because it's just so wonderfully human. It's quite an astonishing accomplishment.
Having said all of this, the decisive point in the film - the lie that Thomas embarks on and perpetuates - is far-fetched. Without it there is no film, and it's a wonderful film after all, but I can't fathom why anyone would do something like that.
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