'Burnt,' a culinary comeback story

November 10, 2015


Directed by John Wells, Burnt was a surprisingly delightful movie that opened Halloween weekend.



Photo by Rotten Tomatoes

Bradley Cooper stars as Chef Adam Jones in 'Burnt.'


But perhaps the timing of the release (along with mixed reviews) played a role in the film's opening weekend box office flop.

Burnt follows chef Adam Jones, played by Bradley Cooper, through his journey to create a third star Michelin dining experience, the highest prestige for chefs around the world.  

Addicted to many hard drugs and women while living in Paris and New Orleans, Jones makes his way to London to mount a comeback career, swearing off his multiple addictions.  

The beginning of the movie caught my attention early on, as it was reminiscent of an Ocean's Eleven heist. 
Jones explains he had been living off the grid and working for almost nothing shucking oysters. 

After shucking his millionth oyster, he walks out the front door having met his goal of achieving shucking perfection.

He goes on to assemble his A team of chefs, even bailing one out of jail.  

Played by Sienna Miller, a fellow chef named Helene is scouted by Jones from a nearby Italian restaurant. Helene is the one character that seems to have any depth, while most of the other characters lack in substance.

Even Uma Thurman starred in the movie, but only briefly; she wasn’t seen for more than a minute through out the entire film. 

Cooper's role in Burnt is similar to most of his previous roles where he plays an egotistical, narcissistic, hot head. 

But in Burnt, more personality traits arise; here, he is also depicted as a workaholic and perfectionist. 
Although Chef Jones can be an unlikeable protagonist for his treatment of others, it is not difficult to fall in love with his obvious passion for perfection, dedication to his art, and delivery of “culinary orgasms.”  
The soundtrack consistently portrayed the emotional state of Chef Jones, although the sound effects were drowned out in comparison to the many knives, pans, and other cutlery in motion during most of the film.  

The film includes several excellent transitions, usually in the form of montages featuring various forms of edible artwork. These beautifully crafted dishes, served on their white plate canvases, dwarf even the most Instagram-worthy food photos.

But this film might not be for everyone; a movie about a chef’s personal life may be too niche-specific.
While fans of food, culinary arts, Bradley Cooper, and comeback stories will surely love this movie, everyone else might want to wait for Burnt's Redbox release. 

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