Mostly Martha

My favorite scenes in Mostly Martha the “take your neice to work” scenes. A driven head chef at a Hamburg restaurant inherits the care of her eight-year-old neice after her sister dies in a car accident. When a babysitter finds the bereaved and hostile little girl impossible, Martha brings her to the restaurant in the evenings. The girl experiences rosemary and truffles, watches the complex choreography of dozens of gourmet dishes in progress, is charmed into eating by her aunt’s boisterous culinary rival, and learns to help out in little ways.
Other excellent restaurant scenes:
* the new Italian sous chef comes in and charms his all of his new co-workers with music and a playful style that contrasts with Martha’s high seriousness.
* Martha’s ubergeek hostility to restaurant customers – when a customer complains that the foie gras is raw, Martha replies that it is “perfekt”, cooked at 140 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes.
* Watching Martha’s boss, a tall, blond, imperious fifty-something restaurater, tolerate her prima donna employee
* The showdown: when Martha is unwilling to overtly accept Mario’s presence, he offers his resignation with the restaurant crew watching tensely; when his boss says she wants him to stay, he replies: “It’s your restaurant, but her kitchen”.
Of lesser excellence, the “opposites-attract” romance between the extraverted Italian and the chilly German; fortunately the movie ends before the battles over toothpaste tube hygiene and music volume; they win the “movie couple most likely to be divorced” award.
Interesting contrast between the adoption love story in Mostly Martha and King of Masks. Both movies have a gruff artist conveying their art to an adoptive child; in the Chinese movie, the older and younger characters take on bonds of obligation, and the love between the characters cements the obligation; in the German movie, the older and younger characters make a choice, and the love between the characters cements the choice.

2 thoughts on “Mostly Martha”

  1. I’ve had this movie on my DVD shelf for a while but hadn’t watched it yet. I think I’ll have to pull it down when I return to Austin.

  2. I’ve had this movie on my DVD shelf for a while but hadn’t watched it yet. I think I’ll have to pull it down when I return to Austin.

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