Movie review by Andrea Karen Hammer
From the opening scene, Mostly Martha is a visually delicious film. With stunning close-ups and behind-the-scenes glimpses at orchestrating meals in a popular restaurant, viewers are immersed in a chef’s slice of life.
Fascinating Look at the Culinary World
In a fascinating look at the culinary world, this movie focuses on the pressure that head chef Martha (Martina Gedeck) needs to handle. Portrayed with natural conviction, the actress reveals how her stubborn character must hold true to her own vision and standards while trying to satisfy the restaurant owner and picky customers.
One night, in the middle of food prep, the heat is turned up when Martha receives an urgent call, summoning her to the hospital. Her sister has died in a car accident, and her injured niece needs a new home.
To help Lina (Maxime Foerste) recover, Martha instinctively prepares food while promising to search for her niece’s absent father. Capturing the spirit of a precocious yet fragile child, the young actress readily conveys Lina’s constant need to retreat to her room during the “temporary” stay in her aunt’s apartment. Suddenly forced to integrate a child’s complicated issues and needs into her already demanding schedule at night, Martha struggles to cope.
Perfectly Pitched Performances Seasoned With Playfulness and Wisdom
In perfectly pitched performances, the surprisingly similar pair stumble through the bumpy process of grief. Ultimately, they find solace in a growing but still unacknowledged attachment to each other.
With playfulness and wisdom, Mario (Sergio Castellitto) arrives in Martha’s kitchen, patiently bridging the gap in all of their lives. The Italian chef finally entices Lina to eat again by casually leaving a delicious plate of spaghetti, which he has already sampled with gusto, by her side. With an irresistible joie de vivre that the actor serves up with extra spice, Mario helps the threesome slowly rediscover a sense of connection– and joy–together.
Artful Presentation of Food and Stunning Cinematography
Leavened with tough but realistic scenes, Mostly Martha skillfully explores the barriers that children and adults create to maintain distance and avoid the pain of additional loss. Through a shared love of cooking and the artful presentation of food in stunning cinematography, this divine film also reveals the source of true nourishment as well as paths for healing and the rebuilding of trust.
Mostly Martha is a must-see film for foodies, romantics, those dealing with grief and anyone who values the art of fine film making.
Questions for Artsphoria’s Online Film Forum
What were some of your favorite scenes in this film besides the ones mentioned in this movie review? Can you explain the techniques used to produce this visually stunning film?
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