by George Wolf
A delicately subtle and sometimes poetic film, The Cakemaker boasts sterling performances and finely drawn characters for a resonant meditation of love, loss, faith and…food.
Thomas (Tim Kalkhof in a wonderfully tender, understated turn) is a German baker at a Berlin cafe. He begins a long-term affair with Oren (Roy Miller), an Israeli businessman with a wife and son in Jerusalem. When Oren misses his monthly visit to Berlin and calls go unanswered, it takes some persistence on Thomas’s part to discover that Oren has been killed in a car accident.
Grief and confusion take Thomas to Berlin, where he discreetly seeks out Oren’s widow Arat (Foxtrot‘s Sarah Adler – excellent again), takes a job baking at her cafe, and assumes a growing place in her life. This brings differing (and telling) reactions from Arat’s family, and could threaten her cafe’s important kosher certification.
Writer/director Ofir Raul Graizer adopts a quiet, observational tone that is deceptively effective. Though this type of triangle may not be new (especially to foreign film fans), the way Graizer lingers on little moments (especially those in the kitchen) make even the most mundane encounters seem sensuous.
You may know where The Cakemaker is going, but getting there is a sweet and satisfying trip.