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Kitchen Stories

Tomas Norström , Joachim Calmeyer , Bent Hamer    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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A Swedish researcher strikes up an unlikely friendship with a cranky Norwegian farmer in this "quirky, thoughtful and bittersweet" (Boxoffice) comedy that captured audiences' hearts around the world. Both "warm" (Newsday) and witty, Kitchen Stories is "a deadpan, thoroughly delightful comedy that cooks up tasty laughs" (New York Post)! It's the 1950s, and a Swedish efficiency expert under strict orders not to interact with his subject is sent to improve a Norwegian farmer's culinary efforts. But the sly old farmer much prefers to amuse himself by impeding the timid researcher's work! Soon, in the struggle between neutral observation and the need for human interaction, the kitchen becomes a battleground!

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Norway vs. Sweden? Both win March 5 2005
By A Customer
This charming, moving, and funny film is the tale of a Swede, Folke, who is an observer for a research project concerning kitchen use patterns in single males, and the solitary Norwegian, Isak, he is assigned to observe. As Folke observes, so he is observed. And as the line between observer and observed disappears, so do conflicts and jealousies arise between Folke and Grant, Isak's only friend. To most people, Swedes and Norwegians seem interchangeable, but if you are Swedish or Norwegian (my mother is Norwegian) you will enjoy the interracial quibbling, as the filmmaker pokes fun at both Norwegians and Swedes sweetly and gently. A lovely, lovely film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Human March 27 2005
By A Customer
A great movie with no special effects ... just the charm and humour of real people and real life. This one's a keeper!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film Jan. 6 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful movie, very touching and very funny. I love how they kept the original languages (norwegian and swedish). I have watched in 5 times and will watch it again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Friendship Unbound May 27 2009
Isak did not care to speak to Folke. Folke was not to speak to Isak. Such were the rules unspoken and otherwise. This is "Kitchen Stories," or, as this movie is known in Norway, "Salmer Fra Kjøkkenet."

Isak, as the subject of Folke's sociological research, offered himself up to be studied thinking a horse was to be provided, and when a toy horse arrived instead of a breathing one, on strike he went. Thus began their banal arrangement.

Things delved into a quiet silence, each respecting the other's space in the midst of themselves. Each watched the other. One took notes, the other remembered. Soon, they realized how similar they were: two single men doing little more than avoiding relationships, living alone.

Isak is a curmudgeoned older bachelor living in Norway, whilst Folke, also a bachelor, makes a living studying people like Isak. However, having never dialogued with his subjects, Folke, he never saw more them as more than moving objects to be charted and analyzed. Within a few cups of coffee, two lonely men become brothers, seeing there is something more important than a self-induced hermitage.

Their relationship develops with subtle sophistication, with Folke bringing in rare treats his elderly aunt sends him, and Isak, saving his friend from being run over by a train.

Like 84 Charing Cross Road, "Kitchen Stories" is graceful in its presentation and unfolding of phileo love.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating little gem of a film July 5 2010
This film is beautifully shot evoking the time period (1950s) and poking fun at cultural stereotypes. The humour is subtle and kind, no one is made to look foolish, except of course Folke's rule obsessed boss. One of the film's main in-jokes concerns the silliness of some positivist research which was just beginning to surface as an important methodology at the time. I really enjoyed this lovely gentle film and cannot recommend it highly enough: a good antidote to some of the woes of 2010.
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