Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) (2001)



Critic Consensus: Mostly Martha may have a predictable plot, but it still feels charming and fresh, and the food will make you hungry.

Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) Photos

Movie Info

Martha is the chef at a small gourmet restaurant in Hamburg who creates mini-masterpieces in every dish. She devotes every waking hour to her work and her shyness keeps her from breaking out of her monotonous routine or meeting new people. When her sister dies in an accident, however, she is compelled to adopt Lina, her 8-year-old niece. Martha's life changes in an instant: not only is she faced with adjusting to her new parental role, but she must also find inspired ways to deal with Lina's grief over the loss of her mother. Surprisingly, help comes from Mario, Martha's new Italian sous-chef, who begins to visit Martha and Lina, doing all that he can to cheer them up with jokes and elaborate meals. Just as the trio returns to a stage of normalcy in their lives, Lina's long missing father arrives, announcing that he wants to take Lina back to Italy with him. Having grown to love Lina and her own role as the girl's protector, Martha is faced with a difficult dilemma.

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August Zirner
as Martha's Therapist
Idil Üner
as Bernadette
Gerhard Gerbers
as Herr Steinberg
Angela Schmidt
as Frau Steinberg
Diego Ribon
as Guiseppe Lorenzo
Rocco Dressel
as Bartender
Katrin Hansmeier
as Babysitter
W.G. Sprenger
as Noisy Customer
Adrian Stein
as Kitchen Youth
Alexandra Flogel
as Sam's Daughter
Oscar Helmi
as Sam's Son
Gunnar Titzmann
as Policeman
Jophi Ries
as Unsatisfied Customer
Regula Grauwiller
as Unsatisfied Customer's Friend
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News & Interviews for Mostly Martha (Bella Martha)

Critic Reviews for Mostly Martha (Bella Martha)

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (28)

This well-made and entertaining romantic comedy drama provides ample proof that German writer-director Sandra Nettelbeck can turn out a classier commercial feature than most of her Hollywood contemporaries.

October 16, 2014 | Full Review…

Though utterly predictable, this kitchen-set romantic comedy about a severe German woman and a fun-loving Italian cook, has a certain charm, and it's about food, which speaks well for commercial appeal.

July 17, 2007 | Rating: B
Top Critic

Nettelbeck serves the tastiest film about food and sex since Big Night.

October 2, 2002 | Rating: 1/4

Nettelbeck has given the viewer a genuine catharsis and a cinematic meal that isn't perfect -- but is all the better for it.

September 19, 2002 | Rating: 5/5

Nettelbeck has a particularly lovely sense of behind-the-scenes restaurant choreography.

August 31, 2002 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Flavorful and romantic, you could call this How Martha Got Her Groove Back -- assuming, that is, she ever had one to begin with.

August 31, 2002 | Rating: B

Audience Reviews for Mostly Martha (Bella Martha)

Yummy from beginning to end. Not only is Martha quirky to watch, but the food preparation alone is worth sitting through this movie. Sweet and stylish. Passionate. Heart warming.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


This was a great film, The one I rented had English Subtitles and was in German. It started out slow, but really picked up and was very funny. If your into subtitle Movies get this one or rent it, you will not be sorry.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

This is the most charming movie I have seen in a long time. It was very linear as far as foreign films go so if you want a very twisty, R Rated (as this is a PG film) foreign film this isn't it. What you get here is a great character development/study, a wonderful love story, and to watch a person who desperately needs to break out of her self-constructed cage...Well anyway...Martina Gedeck plays the marvelous Martha, a woman/cook who is very stuck in her ways and needs a few things to shake up her world a bit before she actually decides to smell the coffee as it were. You are able to watch this character blossom utilizing the vehicles of therapy and food to convey changes in character. Don't be surprised if you get REALLY hungry watching this film (much as you might if you were to be watching the incredible film, "Eat, Drink, Man, Woman). This is a wonderful movie and will leave you feeling just right.

Dean L
Dean L

Super Reviewer

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