Built around a strong performance by Bradley Cooper, Burnt is a film aimed at those interested in the inner workings of chefs at high-end restaurant kitchens.
The story follows a gifted, hot-headed, no-it-all U.S. chef, Adam Jones (Cooper), who ruined his life and career with drugs and alcohol. After some recovery, he finds his way to London, where he meets up with his former maître’ D (Bruhl), who has taken over the running of his father’s hotel. After some persuasion, the two agree to work together and begin searching for chefs to recruit to their kitchen. As Jones begins to achieve his goals (to lead his kitchen to Michelin star status), he begins to lose control. Soon he has conflicts with his team, his friends, and even drug dealers.
As expected, the professional kitchen environment has been depicted accurately and all the food in the film looks mouth-wateringly delicious. The same can be said about the performances from the all-star cast, which includes Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, Omar Sy and Emma Thompson – who all deliver. Sadly, there isn’t anything great about the story which seems rather on the bland side. While there are moments when it shines, the majority of the film just doesn’t work well – kind of like milk and meat.
Burnt is primarily a film about food and cooking that tries very hard to be a redemption story. The success of shows like “Master Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen” have made a film about the subject very appealing. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work this time. The melodrama is overwrought and overcooked.
Rating: 3 / 5
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller and Daniel Bruhl
Directed by: John Wells
Running time: 1 hour 41 mins
Studio: The Weinstein Company