In the early 1950s Sweden's Home Research Institute is conducting studies into domestic habits. Armed with clipboards, a Swedish delegation arrives in a Norwegian rural district, with the aim of observing the kitchen routines of single men. One hapless observer, Nilsson (Tomas Nostrom) is assigned a particularly reluctant farmer, the cantankerous old Isak (Joachim Calmeyer), who at first won't even let him into the house. Soon, though, Nilsson takes up his vantage point on a wooden platform perched ludicrously in the corner of the kitchen - only to find that Isak is watching him, through a hole in the kitchen ceiling. Slowly, however, relations begin to thaw.
Droll, measured comedy - a quiet gem
- Kitchen Stories review by GS
On the surface, and to begin with, this film is about the dryly-humorous clash of Swedish efficiency with rustic Norwegian ways. As the film develops, it reveals itself to be about relationships and, especially, that of lonely men. Lovely performances, wonderful period details; a slow but gradually engrossing film. Worth seeing for the silent Swedish observer's stepladder in the kitchen corner.