“Mostly Martha” (2001)
American audiences might know the story better as “No Reservations,” the 2007 American remake starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart, but in the German-language original we see the ways in which a kitchen doubles as a hideout. Martha is a reclusive chef, slaving relentlessly over her dishes as a means of avoiding intimacy in her personal life. But her bubble of isolation is burst by two unexpected events: The death of her sister, which requires Martha to take in and care for her angry niece, and the arrival of an emotional new Italian cook, who might just show her a thing or two about her favorite art form. It’s a movie about food, yes, but it’s also about understanding the need to share that sweet tooth with someone else.