Directed by: John Wells
Written by: Steven Knight
Burnt is much more than a cooking movie, that type of movie has already been done, it is about redemption and humility in the face of greatness. Directed by John Wells and written by Steven Knight, the two come together to create a movie that is filled with drama and edginess at every corner.
Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) was once a top rated Michelin star chef cooking in Paris who had it all and threw it down the drain with drugs and alcohol. Now a reformed junkie, he looks to recreate the momentum he once had in the kitchen. When he walks into a restaurant, any room for that matter, his bravado and ego can be felt by all. He doesn’t play by the rules, it is what got him to achieve greatness, but he soon realizes that he has to pull back the reigns in order to succeed.
Now living in London, he finds his previous maitre’d Tony (Daniel Bruhl) and makes a deal with him to allow him to take over his restaurant and do things his way. He promises he can transform his eatery into a place that all the critics will be raving about, but in order to do so Tony must take a chance on him.
His reputation still follows him everywhere he goes. In order to keep his spot, he must meet with Tony’s fathers’ analyst Dr. Rosshilde (Emma Thompson) and get drug tested on a weekly basis. Although Adam is reluctant he takes on the agreement and moves head first into the kitchen.
He hires a new staff and insists that up and coming Chef Helene (Sienna Miller) must work with him. The two have similar mentalities and he knows they can create beautiful food together. He also makes sure to inform all his old Chef friends, the ones he worked with in Paris under their culinary mentor Jean Luc; that he is back and ready to take on the food world. One in particular Reece (Matthew Rhys) now has a molecular gastronomy restaurant and is shaken up, enough to break tables and chairs at the news. Adam shakes up the culinary world and instills fear in his competitors, all who behave like little girls at the thought of being dethroned.
The movie moves with frenetic energy, there are many close-ups of the sumptuous food and the audience feels like they are moving with the Chefs in the kitchen. We can see everything from the sweat beads off Adam’s face when he is in the midst of plating to the droplets of oil in the food. At points when he was walking through markets sampling food, it almost felt like we could smell the intensity of the foods and the rich aromas. I loved that the film gave us those sentiments.
Cooper worked with notorious Chef Gordon Ramsey on perfecting his chef persona and it can be felt in many of the scenes. The way he yells at his sous chefs felt real and the demands of the kitchen could be felt. Cooper did an excellent job and showed us once again that he knows how to dig deep and pull dramatic performances off without a hitch.
Miller was equally fantastic, she was as gracious as she was meticulous with her food and the way her and Cooper played off each other seemed genuine.
I enjoyed this movie because it was not filled with clichés. There were no superfluous back stories going on, it was simply about the journey of one Chef and his ability to come back into his old skin without losing himself once again. If you like dramas mixed with comedies or you are a foodie who enjoys the beauty of a good meal, then this movie is right up your alley.
Also posted on PinkEggMedia