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Mostly Martha


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Product Details

  • Actors: Martina Gedeck, Sergio Castellitto, Maxime Foerste, August Zirner, Ulrich Thomsen
  • Directors: Sandra Nettelbeck
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: February 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007ELFA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,024 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mostly Martha" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

An uptight gourmet chef learns to loosen up when she becomes the caretaker of her orphaned niece, and meets an Italian chef.
Genre: Foreign Film - German
Rating: PG
Release Date: 12-DEC-2003
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Great acting and a wonderful story.
Samrandol
Martha is a very lonely woman living her life for her passion, which is cooking.
O. Brown
By the end of the movie, you really want to find out more.
Phillip

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 4, 2005
Format: DVD
Written and directed by Sandra Nettelbeck, "Bella Martha", strangely 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 Gedeck 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 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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66 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 29, 2003
Format: DVD
"Food is a great passion of mine, and I think it is one of the best visual and most sensual metaphors life has to offer." ~Sandra Nettelbeck, German Director

Martha (Marina Gedeck) is a sexy chef living her life in a very organized fashion. She is single, doesn't have any children and seems to have found the perfect job. As a chef, she takes great pride in her creations and is even willing to confront customers who question her cooking skills, especially if they involve a discussion of how Duck Foie Gras should be cooked. As a perfectionist, she refuses to accept that anything could be wrong with her world, her gourmet cooking or her opinions on food preparation.

What Martha is really lacking is an ability to open up her heart and allow love to flow to those around her. She has a passion for cooking, but not for life. While she seems to take pleasure in her cooking, she doesn't seem to have a sense of humor about her world. Restaurant manager, Frida (Sibylle Canonica), insists that she go to therapy and yet, she rarely deals with her inner world, she is more concerned about recipes. She leaves her therapist (August Zirner) rather confused as he can't figure out why she is in therapy. Even when her sister is in an accident, she deals with the pain by thinking about a Lobster's death.

When an accident leaves her eight-year-old niece, Lina (Maxine Foerste), in need of care, Martha's heart starts to open to the world. Together Lina and Martha take a journey to healing that is not without conflict. Martha not only accepts Lina into her home, she also vows to find Lina's father. I like the way the director doesn't spoon feed the audience, there are often items you don't fully understand until much later in the movie.
Read more ›
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on November 25, 2002
I have a common complaint that great European films are often killed by brain-dead U.S. marketing campaigns - usally these are excellent light dramas absurdly cast as screwball comedies. The most egregious example is "East is East," in which an outstanding film bears absolutely zero correlation to the description of it on a stupefyingly dumb U.S.-issued VHS coverbox.
"Mostly Martha" suffers from some of that. This is an excellent movie - a feel good piece without pandering. Martina Gedeck's outstanding portrayal of "Martha" is well worth your money. This got buried quickly in the U.S. because I felt like it was marketed to highlight the 'screwball' relationship between Martha and Mario...of course, their relationship is anything but & comprises only one-third of the story or so.
I urge you to pick this up when it becomes available on DVD - you're in for a real treat.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2003
This is the story of a beautiful, obcessive gourmet chef who is a master in the kitchen, but struggles with human relationships, whether with a complaining restaurant customer. an exhuberant Italian chef who adores her, or her 8 year old niece. The photography alone is worth seeing this movie, from the food preparation shots to her psychiatrist's minimalist office. The warmth and main interest come from Gedick's performance, which is subtle and beautifully arresting. She is a consummate actress and I wish she would make American films! Obviously difficulties in being a new parent (her niece comes to live with her after Martha's sister dies)and being loved by a passionate but patient man (The Italian chef) arise. But it works out naturally and we see Martha grow from the difficulties and become
an even more beautiful and whole woman. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS.
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