‘Burnt’ Movie Review: Bradley Cooper Plays A World-Class Chef On The Road To Redemption
Love him or hate him, Bradley Cooper plays a pretty good jerk. You can believe him when he tells his competition that they “f**ked up the sauce with too much lemon juice” from across the dining room of a fine establishment. You can also believe that he has a complicated attitude tempered by bad experience and the egotistical need to be the best. This all culminates in a character that you don’t want to like, but is certainly worth admiration. Chefs are notorious for throwing fits over seemingly minor imperfections. Most of all, chefs are competitive. The best of them start at the bottom and live for every award and good review. Burnt is an intriguing look into the world and community of major culinary hubs such as London and Paris.
‘Burnt’ Movie Review
Adam Jones has a particularly bad reputation. Mentored by the famous Jean Luc at a young age, he set his own world on fire with a kindling of drugs, booze and rebellious acts. In the beginning of the film, Jones puts on his apron and punches the clock. Don’t head chefs of world renown get paid salaries? They don’t shuck oysters on the bayou. He has sentenced himself to his life, and until he shucks a million oysters will he allow himself to return to the culinary scene.
Arriving in London, Jones drops in on all his former colleagues: Tony (Daniel Bruhl), a maitre d embittered by a love for Jones that wasn’t mutual; Michel (Omar Sy) who agrees to help Adam despite the fact that he released rats into his restaurant just prior to calling the health department; Max (Riccardo Scamarcio), who is fresh out of jail for cutting a man’s nose off. None of these people care to see Adam again after what he did when he was on drugs, but there is a certain gravity to the bad boy chef that brings them all back together to work towards the goal of running the best restaurant in the world.
On top of this is Adam’s sous chef and love interest, Helene (Sienna Miller). She hates him too at first with very little history to justify it. But he soon gives her plenty of reason when he triples her salary for the opportunity to be cussed out on a regular basis.
In one of Cooper’s better performances, audiences get an idea of what life in the kitchen is like and why people like Gordon Ramsey are the way they are.
Burnt is more about a man constructing a dream-team to win himself a third Michelin star than it is about food. What may catch viewers off-guard is the fact the Adam Jones is not trying to pull himself together. He’s done that already, and instead of working on himself, he is trying to build a platform from which he can continue his career. With this in mind, there appears to be very little character development. Just the escapades in retrospect of an an exiled hero moving forward.
Pictured: Daniel Bruhl and Bradley Cooper.
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