Sandra Nettelbeck spins this gentle drama about how a child's presence can change the lives of the most shy and career-minded of adults. Martha (Martina Gedeck) is the chef of a popular Hamburg eatery who fusses and obsesses over each dish before it leaves the kitchen. The demands of her job and her natural shyness keep her from breaking out of her routine to meet new people. When her sister suddenly dies in a car accident, Martha adopts Lina, her eight-year-old niece. Martha's life soon completely changes -- not only must she adjust herself to new parental role, but she must help Lina deal with her grief over the loss of her mother. Martha gets unexpected help from Mario, Martha's hunky new sous chef, who is not only a whiz on the chopping block but knows sundry magic tricks and jokes to keep Lina's spirits afloat. Just as Martha starts to grow attached to the girl, however, the possibility of Lina returning to the custody of her father arises. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.
by Jonathan Crow synopsis