Monday, November 23, 2015


Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl, Emma Thompson
Director: John Wells
Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes
Rating: R

Bradley Cooper plays a chef in the new foodie movie "Burnt." Say no more - I'm in. The film "Chef" was one of my favorites last year - one of my favorite food films ever, actually - and I thoroughly enjoyed "Burnt," though it lacked the comedy and food porn that "Chef" gave us so much of. (Well, this movie has food porn for the bourgeois foodie.) However, unless you read cookbooks, food magazines and menus for fun like me, you may want to sit this one out, or at least wait to watch it at home. Bradley Cooper continues to prove that he can tackle just about any role though, and does a fantastic job channeling the feared and revered Chef Gordon Ramsay (a chef consultant for the film). Cooper's portrayal of Adam Jones, a 2-star Michelin chef seeking his 3rd, is incredibly believable though the story line may not be very strong.
Photo Courtesy Yahoo
Chef Adam Jones has a few obstacles standing in his way of getting that third Michelin star. He screwed over all of his friends and colleagues when he went on a drug bender and walked out of his restaurant in Paris. He attempts to soothe the edges and put his old crew back together in a new restaurant, owned by former colleague Tony (played by Daniel Bruhl, who I'm afraid has too much screen time.) A newbie to the line of sous chefs includes Helene, played by Sienna Miller, who reunites with Cooper since last year's "American Sniper." Their chemistry is as hot as the pan-seared turbot she works so hard to master. Emma Thompson's turn as Adam's therapist doesn't do a lot to add to the film - she shines in comedy - but her line "there's strength in needing people, not weakness" serves as a catalyst for Adam to strive more to connect with others.

It's not really fair that all we see in film and TV these days are chefs being portrayed as ill-tempered, aggressive, perfectionists that tend to have substance abuse issues. But this film reinforces that. Chefs Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali apparently didn't mind, and did a fantastic job as chef consultants on this film. Cooper chopped, plated and talked shop, seemingly like a real chef. The beads of sweat and his bloodshot eyes only add to his credibility. I haven't seen a chef this hot since I met John Besh (that's right, folks -my fave!)
What a handsome pair we make. I still can't believe this moment happened.
Though there's a flirtation, this is not a love story. Instead, it's a story of Adam's journey, for better and for worse, and how he rediscovers himself through food. A few plot twists and constant battles in the kitchen keep you entertained and emotionally invested. Also, blink and you'll miss Uma Thurman. It's like the director owed her a favor and threw her in the film for fun. If anything, this film will make you fall in love with Bradley Cooper's baby blues, and crave a plate of milk-poached turbot or brown butter-basted halibut with fennel fronds and pea shoots, at $39/plate, natch.

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