This just might be my favourite food related film ever. Most food related films are more about eating and big laden tables; this one’s about the restaurant kitchen.
I haven’t seen the remake with ZetaJones and I don’t think I want to. The original is just too good, and its one of those films you could easily see going wrong in other hands.
Martha is wonderfully played as a brilliant chef, a lonely neurotic who does not really have much of a life outside the restaurant until her sister dies in an auto accident and she inherits her niece. Often the introduction of children into reasonable films can be deadly but here it works. The child and Martha and their interaction are about as far from sentimental as you can get. The girl misses her mother and won’t eat which denies Martha her one means of communication.
About the same time, a new Italian cook starts work at the restaurant and begins making overtures to Martha, and with great difficulty. I’ll leave the rest for you to find out..
What I like so much about this film is that some of the time I did not know what she was doing in the kitchen and the film was smart enough to not have to explain. This was being caught up in the mystery and magic of professionals going about their work.