The latest to join the catalogue of food-based films comes the Bradley Cooper drama, Burnt. A one-time chef on the rise, Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) goes down to road of drugs and violent behaviour, eventually leading to rock bottom. Losing all relationships with his family and friends, Jones attempts to redeem himself by reviving his career glory, executing a successful restaurant in hopes of achieving the coveted three Michelin stars.
Coming from the lowest point in his life, Jones seeks to atone for his culinary and personal errors. Set in the food capital of the world, Paris sets the tone for intensive culinary environment. The film displays Jones’ journey, from his destructive path and to his present rise to atonement and success. Along the way, he encounters old friends and new rivals; sous-chef Helene (Sienna Miller), therapist Dr. Rosshilde (Emma Thompson), rival chef Reece (Matthew Rhys), former friend Michel (Omar Sy).
In recent years, Cooper has established himself as an acclaimed leading actor, branching away from his former hot-shot roles – The Hangover trilogy – and starring in esteemed films such as the recent American Sniper. He further reinforces this notion as Jones, authentically creating the character with arrogance and volatility. He’s believable as a chef, exhibiting the rigorous demands of a culinary career, simultaneously showing the vulnerability and motivation of a diligent man. Cooper reunites with American Sniper co-star Miller, again acting as his love interest and gives the story a little bit of spice. Surprisingly, Uma Thurman makes a cameo as a food critic, sadly underused but employed for interest.
Creatively assisted by renowned chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Brett Graham and Marcus Wareing, Burnt sizzles with thematic accuracy. The precise presentation of culinary art is evident with the pristine meals and immaculate, high-quality kitchens. The cooking scenes provide intense and explosive drama to film, rightly in tune with the perceptions of a busy restaurant. Whilst Burnt serves up solid story and ensemble cast, the film unfortunately lack the flavour and dramatic seasoning that it was expected. Burnt fails to soar amongst the year’s drama and other foodie films, regrettably fizzling out in the end. A film for food and Bradley Cooper appreciators, Burnt displays both in extreme measures.