In director John Wells’ Burnt, Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a world-class chef looking for a fresh start. After Adam’s career imploded in Paris, his self-imposed exile landed him in New Orleans, with a penance of shucking 1 million oysters. Upon completion of this laborious task, he heads back to Europe, ending up in London, where some of his former friends and enemies are thriving in the city. His goal is simple: Be the best chef and earn a third Michelin star.
During Adam’s run in Paris, he made a number of enemies, mostly due to his bad habits. He drank to excess, used drugs and used women, all while wearing out his welcome in his Paris restaurant. Now sober for over two years, he wants to take over longtime friend Tony’s (Daniel Brühl) restaurant.
Welcome to “Adam Jones at the Langham.”
When assembling his crew, Adam grabs an old friend, Michel (Omar Sy), as his key assistant. Despite having parted on difficult terms, they put the past behind them and work together to create something special. Adam finds Helene (Sienna Miller), a chef who doesn’t know how good she is, and recruits her to join his staff. The youthful newcomers and old friends who make up his brigade are hungry to work for a master.
But of course, bumps appear along the road. The people he alienated in Paris want their money — or an equivalent amount of blood — in return. Former friends are now rivals and former allies are disgruntled, but through it all Adam must focus on the task at hand — building the next great restaurant. But can he complete this task clean and sober?
Cooper gives 100 percent to the role, using his training with legendary chef Gordon
Ramsay to get the motions right. Miller crafts a character of a strong woman and caring mother who finds her voice and increases her confidence exponentially.
The massive supporting cast seems underused in the film. Brühl deserves more depth to his character.
Emma Thompson’s role as a doctor comes across as truly undefined. Uma Thurman as a restaurant critic and the ex-girlfriend played by Alicia Vikander are hardly seen in the movie, and you know there is more to the Reece (Matthew Rhys) and Michel characters than the actors portraying them are allowed to deliver.
The real star here is the food. Visually the film will leave its viewers hungry, so you should see this on a full stomach. Although there are some really pleasing elements within the meal that Burnt presents, it seems like a couple of the courses could have used some extra time on the grill to deliver a Michelin star-winning film.
Burnt Rated: R Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl Director: John Wells Grade: B