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  • Mostly Martha [DVD] [2003]
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Mostly Martha [DVD] [2003]


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Product details

  • Actors: Martina Gedeck, Maxime Foerste, Sergio Castellitto, August Zirner, Sibylle Canonica
  • Directors: Sandra Nettelbeck
  • Writers: Sandra Nettelbeck
  • Producers: Carlo Degli Esposti, Christine Berg, Christoph Friedel, Dschingis Bowakow, Heinz Stussak
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: German, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Sept. 2003
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C6653
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,407 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

A bittersweet comedy about acceptance and the pressures of modern-day life. Martha Klein (Martina Gedeck) is the uncompromising head chef in a Hamburg restaurant, whose work is her life. Her boss Frida (Sibylle Canonica) forces her to take time off to care for her niece Lina (Maxime Foerste) after her sister's death in an accident. Further shocks are in store on her return to work in the shape of handsome Italian sous-chef Mario (Sergio Castellitto).

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
MOSTLY MARTHA isn't about Martha S. But, if the shoe fits ...
In this case, Martha is Martha Klein (Martina Gedeck), a supremely talented chef, who lords over the kitchen of the Lido, an upscale Hamburg restaurant. Martha is so obsessed with food preparation and presentation that she'll confront any customer that sends her creations back to the kitchen. Because Martha is "the second best" chef in the city, the Lido's owner, Frida (Sibylle Canonica), refrains from firing Klein, but has demanded that she see a therapist. On the shrink's couch, Martha talks only of recipes. Over his objections, she even prepares meals for him to eat at his desk.
Martha's regimented life is disrupted when her sister, a single mother, perishes in an auto accident. Martha is left to care for Lina (Maxine Foerste), her 8-year old niece, while attempting to contact Giuseppe, the girl's father living somewhere in Italy. In the meantime, Frida hires another chef, Mario (Sergio Castellitto), to augment her kitchen staff. Mario's free and easy personality is the antithesis of Martha the Control Freak. Martha finds her life spinning into chaos, especially when it becomes apparent that she's failing miserably as a surrogate Mom to Lina, who remains depressed over her mother's death and so passively hostile that she won't even eat the perfectly prepared and arranged dishes that Martha sets before her.
Had MOSTLY MARTHA been made in Tinseltown, it would've inevitably starred Meg Ryan as Martha, Tom Hanks as Mario, and some adorable child star as the incorrigible Lina.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon on 5 Feb. 2005
Format: DVD
Written and directed by Sandra Nettelbeck, "Bella Martha", stangely translated as "Mostly Martha", was her first big feature film, and won international awards and delighted many...perhaps mostly women, as it is exquisitely romantic. Martina Gadeck as Martha, the master chef who tries to control her world while it collapses around her, is superb. She has an intense kind of beauty and grace, strong but emotionally fragile, and Gadeck's body language speaks volumes, and lets us see into her heart with a simple gesture of the hand, or a flicker in her eyes. This is one of the best performances I've seen in a very long time.
Her relationship with her 8 year old niece Lina, so well played by Maxime Foreste, is complex, understandable, and very moving, and the chemistry between Martha and Mario, (Sergio Castellitto is perfect in the part) is fabulous, complete opposites attracting. The supporting cast are all excellent, and director Nettelbeck plays Lina's mother in a touching video sequence.
The score by David Darling and Keith Jarrett is marvelous, with delicate sections of Arvo Part's music for one of the most tragic scenes, and includes a bit of Dean Martin's version of "Volare", and oh joy ! the irresistible, simply scrumptious "Via con Me" by Paolo Conte, a song so happy it would make a bear smile. The cinematography by Michael Bertel is also wonderful, with location shots of Hamburg and Italy, and overflowing vistas of delectable food.
I cried, I laughed out loud, and I will always remember this film; it is a small but polished gem.
Total running time is 109 minutes.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M Jones on 29 Nov. 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this film in the cinema and I am buying the DVD as a present. If it had been a hollywood movie, exactly the same as is, but in English instead of German, it would have been a huge blockbuster, and won lots of Oscars. It is a fairly predictable story, but so well told that it suffers nothing for that. Every aspect of it is superb, the acting, photgraphy, music, settings.
It is a truly great movie. See it!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "cfwu3" on 13 Aug. 2004
Format: DVD
This is no doubt one of the most refined and entertaining European "romcoms" of recent years - a narrative of a highly successful female chef who is missing some love in her private life. The humour throughout really works by playing on the innate and sometimes odd behavioural patterns of the main characters.
While foremost this film provides a very relaxed viewing, there are some overarching cultural themes to be noted. The (romantic) tensions between the rational/structured German and lively-emotional Italian mentality build the base for the life of Martha, Martha's erstwhile sister and Lina, Martha's nice. For British and non-German viewers alike, the narrative provides a captivating insight into the mutual admiration of two European countries for each other's idiosyncracies. With regards to the filming, director Sandra Nettleback used the setting of Lido's (Matha's French/Italian cuisine) Kitchen as the place where it's all happening, and the one bed room flat for the more disruptive patches of the character's relationships. Paolo Conte's music and the lively colors of the food presented add to the positive and enjoyable vibes the viewer gets from the film.
Net net, a film that can be enjoyed more than once and a must-see for those looking for a break from Hollywood movies.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alice Mlynkova on 17 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
FIrst, I don't know why I thought this was a comedy or at least a romantic story. So don't be surprised as I was - most of the time it's not fun! But it doesn't change the fact that the movie is good and "catchy". Cooking is an essential part of the story - even people who never cook feel like trying it! The life is often here compared to cooking and recipes - even if you have all ingredients and do everything along, the result doesn't have to be perfect.
I hesitated between ***/**** (the story is nothing unusual and it could be 15mins shorter) but decided for more because it is the kind of film which leaves you feeling positive (instead of sour or worried).
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