Turkish writer/director Fatih Akin, but fortunately, since this is Mr. Akins's first comedy in a long while (rent In July, if you want another example of the filmmaker in a lighter mood), the anarchy is somehow productive and fun. Akin’s lead character Zinos (played by Adam Bousdoukos) is the young owner of (and cook at) a restaurant called, yes, Soul Kitchen, that serves up greasy-but-faithful grub to an equally faithful clientele. He’s got a gorgeous girlfriend, Nadine (Pheline Roggan: the blond in the poster, above), who’s about to leave for China on business, with whom he fights and then fucks as though each time were the first and most fabulous (Nadine’s response to one of these sessions is particularly funny). Also in tow are a faithful barmaid, who, on the strength of the rich performance by Anna Bederke (shown three photos down), turns a subsidiary character into someone absolutely central, and a brother Illias (the great Moritz Bleibtreu) halfway out of prison (he returns there each night) and still addicted to gambling.
Bette Midler or Renée Zellweger, to name a couple. This is not to say that Bousdoukos comes off in any sense as feminine. Nah: he’s a guy all the way. We don’t seem to have male actors with this much crazy flair for life, love and work. Our crazy guys – Christopher Walken and the late Dennis Hopper, for instance -- are/were a little too scary to be crazy-guy role models. Zinos is not, and Mr. Bousdoukos is in a class by himself.
The Answer Man) that gets so many laughs out of a bad back, with Bousdoukos expertly mining the comedy and pain. Bleibtreu makes a wonderfully charming scamp brother; despite his dreadful misdeeds, you love him. Also in the cast are Birol Ünel (real-and-then-some as the temperamental new chef; Dorka Gryllus (from Irina Palm), shown below, as a helpful masseuse/chiropractor; Wotan Wilke Möhring as an old "friend" of Zinos; and everyone’s favorite German creep Udo Kier, as an over-eager investor.
times threatens “too-muchness.” But that spirit of positive anarchy always, if barely, wins out. By the finale, you’ll feel good, all right, but you’ll also have been put through the mill. Soul Kitchen opens Friday, Aug. 20, at the IFC Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema.
Solino, and he was just as famous in Germany back then. But now, I think, he is more famous internationally. But he’s been big in Germany for many years.” (TrustMovies had forgotten that the actor was even present In July; it’s been over a decade since he's seen that film, and at the time he didn’t know who Bleib-
treu -- who’s done terrific work in everything from The Experiment to The Walker to The Baader Meinhoff Complex -- was.)