Burnt Serves Up a Foodie’s Delight
The recipe is as follows: Mix 1 cup of Bradley Cooper speaking French with some highfalutin cuisine, add a pinch of angry chefs yelling at each other, whip with 2 teaspoons of European culture, and bake on high for 1hr 41m. This is the movie Burnt, and it’s a foodie’s delight to watch.
Bradley Cooper stars as Adam Jones, a once highly-acclaimed chef whose drug addictions basically ruined his career, love life, and sanity. After paying self-induced penance as an oyster-shucker in Louisiana, Jones decides to head to London, England to get his old life back and restore his disgraced career.
In search of his third Michelin star, Jones manages to get the band back together, and reunite some of his former cooks from his old life in Paris. With the help of a new sous-chef, Helene, played by Sienna Miller, Jones begins his journey to redemption at a new restaurant in London. However, it’s quickly evident that Jones is his own worst enemy: his Gordon Ramsay-ish temper and lack of patience makes for an awkward series of scenes with him both verbally and physically abusing his staff, bringing one of them even to quit. Like many depicted geniuses in film, he’s got a big chip on his shoulder and the callous attitude to go with it, and all that, coupled with a big debt to some drug lords hanging over his head, makes for a man under pressure.
Besides the high-intensity kitchen theatrics, Burnt deals out a lot of cultural sights and sounds that come as a nice contrast. That, coupled with the artistry of the food itself, plays nice against the clean, white restaurant motifs and steely landscape of their kitchens. Sienna Miller’s character too is a nice yang to Jones’ yin, playing a strong and stoic female in a field brewing with temperamental men.
Now I won’t say that I enjoyed Burnt quite as much as I enjoyed Jon Favreau’s Chef (which the movie has been compared to many times), but I will say that this movie kept my interest and made me want to go to Europe right away to try some first-class dining. Likewise, Burnt did rely heavily upon some old (out-dated?) stereotypes of the angry chef throwing plates and insults around, but it gets redeemed by an outstanding cast including Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, and more.
If you’re in need of a little culture in your life, or just want to see some beautiful people making beautiful things, Burnt is for you.
Catch Burnt on Execulink’s VOD channel (ch. 100) from Jan. 26th – July 26th, 2016.