Eden review

A kind of Beauty And The Bistro, this offbeat German yarn revolves around Gregor (Josef Ostendorf), a middle-aged chef of Hitchcockian girth who befriends young married mum Eden (Charlotte Roche). Enraptured by the chocolate cake he makes for her disabled daughter’s fifth birthday, she becomes a regular visitor to his kitchen – but boorish hubby Xaver (Devid Striesow) won’t swallow the idea that these dinner dates are platonic...

Writer-director Michael Hofmann concocts a medley of flavours – absurdity, sensuality, tragedy – that don’t quite gel. But he struggles to get under Gregor’s immense skin, the sensitive performances bring a throb of empathy and sadness to the central relationship. Eden earns its place-setting with other foodie movies (Eat Drink Man Woman, Big Night, Tampopo) for the sheer volume of delectable dishes – which, in spite of the muddy lensing, will set stomachs pining.

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