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Drei Sterne

Most of the German I had during the non-high-school years of my youth is gone. But I still like to hear it and feel happy when I understand the dialogue, little more than Ich bin mude and such nonsense. But when they get into the deep conversations about life, or I can’t read the lips, or the dialogue goes to fast… oh, who am I kidding… my german is for the birds! (preferably caught in a lime-twig trap).

There are a number of movies with good cooking scenes

  • The Odd Couple
  • The Godfather 1 & 2
  • The Big Chill
  • Babbette’s Feast, which I’ve never seen… but someday shall
  • the deplorable Like Water for Chocolate… okay, it’s not deplorable… but the novel is. But it is only second rate magical realism slathered on a Mexican soap opera.
  • there is also Big Night, which is a nice film, but I’d have to see it again to know if I really like it…

Soaring above the rest, is Drei Sterne or Bella Marta or Mostly Martha. There are, of course, some predictable comedic mainstays (though this is more of a comedry, a little bit funny, a little bit (okay, a lot, but in a good way) sad): like the up-tight, precise German chef who not only inherits a confused and heartbroken 8 year-old niece, who introduces chaos into her life, but also has to deal with the flamboyant, perennially tardy, fly by the seat of his pants Italian chef. I won’t give away anything about the flick except to say it is a classic comedy… and the road, though predictably bumpy, is made much less noticeable by stellar acting all-around, a wonderfully insightful script, and beautiful cinematography.

I can’t go to the grocery store without getting put off: my tomatoes, spinach, and bannanas typically end up at the bottom of our bags, which we love, btw. The people who bag the food (and I try to always bag it myself, but they are soo helpful in our store that rarely do I get the chance) seem not to understand food, or at least not to care that persons arrive home with bruised plums and apricots. The mushies simply don’t go with boxes and never are cans placed on top of fruits or vegetables of any kind, unless they too are in cans. (Which, if they are, will rarely find their way into our bags… beans from scratch are much more healthful and tasty, as are any other kind of vegetable, legume, or fruit; tin cans are for cremains not veggies and veggies in tin cans taste like the ashes of a long forgotten flower. But flan can’t be made without evaporated milk and sweeten condensed milk. And, you simply can’t get fresh swamp cabbage anywhere near here.)

Well, the writer, director and cinematographer of this film understand food, the joy of cooking, and the sensuousness and beauty of cooking like few others out there. It’s worth watching just for the shots of the food being cooked. I don’t know if I will be able to watch another foodie movie after this one… except, of course, my favorite foodie movie of all times:

Yin Shi Nan Nu or Eat, Drink, Man, Woman



Haben Sie Goodbye Lenin gesehen? Es war ausgezeichnet, Meinung nach.

I’ve seen Babette’s Feast twice and each time been bored to tears. So much so that I can only tell you that it’s about some servant woman who wants to make dinner. Conflict? Difficulty? That I’d have to look up.

Ich hab Goodbye Lenin nicht sehen. Aber jetzt es ist in meine Nextflix Schlange.

I probably screwed up the possessive pronoun… and other things as well.

So, Babbette’s Feast was that good?

BF kept me on the edge of my seat, which was bad because when I fell asleep, I fell and hit my head.

I think I saw it first in high school when my French teacher needed to give herself downtime; then I rented it again sometime later thinking I could find its redeeming qualities. I think of it in the same breath as Gosford Park. Everyone said it was great, but how they found it compelling was totally lost on me.

so, my dear german speaker…

is drei Sterne supposed to be some sort of phrase or allusion to a phrase… three stars, nach rechts?

but does three stars mean anything?

I have no idea what it means, unfortunately.

It’d be far more accurate to call me a German reader, rather than a German speaker, and a very rusty one at that.

how stupid! i am!

the stars refers to the restaurant rating!