Martha, in her own obsessive but charming way, creates sublime masterpieces in the art of cooking as a chef of a French gourmet restaurant in Hamburg. And yet, her everyday existence is rather monotonous. She is introverted, has hardly any private life, and exists only for her work. All of that changes when her sister, a single mother, dies in an accident and Martha has to take in her eight-year-old niece Lina. The little girl suffers badly from the loss of her mother.
It is only the presence of Mario, Martha’s new Italian sous chef who brings light and pasta into the lives of the two outsiders. He turns from a rival into a loving friend. Just as a tender romance develops between them, Lina’s unknown father appears. He wants to take Lina back with him to Italy. And Martha? Martha has to make a decision.
With ‘Mostly Martha’, Sandra Nettelbeck manages the rare feat of merging melancholy with joie de vivre, and this without slipping into lachrymose kitsch or cool psychodrama. Martina Gedeck and the little Maxime Foerste in the main roles, together with the inimitable Sergio Castellitto are excellent actors whose at times quiet presence lasts well beyond the final credits.

Feature, D/CH/A 2001, 106′, colour, 35mm

Screenplay and Director
Sandra Nettelbeck

Original version: German

T&C Film Zürich
Pandora Film Köln
Prisma Film Wien
Palomar Rom