The Cakemaker

In this astounding debut from Israeli writer-director Ofir Raul Graizer, a German pastry chef (Tim Kalkhof) moves from Berlin to Jerusalem to bond with the widow (Sarah Adler) and young son of his recently deceased boyfriend. The baker keeps his identity secret as he lands a job in the Israeli woman’s kosher cafe, gets to know the family, and circumvents religious, cultural, linguistic, and sexual barriers to find common ground in grief. Graizer’s exquisite restraint and sensitivity render each moment plausible, while natural performances from Kalkhof and Adler root the melodrama in genuine pathos. The only overpowering sweetness here is in the softly lit close-ups of mouthwatering desserts, courtesy of cinematographer Omri Aloni. In German and Hebrew with subtitles.