I love a good cooking movie. I have seen “Chef” which I could only describe as food porn, loved “The hundred yard journey” about an indian chef getting his first Michelin star in France and I thought Burnt will be something similar.
It was and it wasn’t. I felt like I was thrown into this story where most of the characters seemed to have a past together in France, where the main character (Adam Jones) managed to destroy a few people’s lives before he left. Booze and drugs and sex.
The message on the need for professional counselling and support for someone whose life has self-destructed through substance abuse was in balance. Watching Cooper’s character struggle to start anew while still afraid to face his demons is a story line relevant to many.
He starts over in London and his struggle for perfection is real! It takes real guts to coordinate all the people in the kitchen to have a perfect dish. I loved to see Daniel Brühl playing the old friend Tony (after he played Nicki Lauda so well in Rush) and their homosexual undercurrent is absolutely genuine and well acted. I had to cheer when the kiss happened!
Hats down to Bradly Cooper too! He is such a talented actor and his French is impeccable!
Plus there is nothing better than seeing a man cook :). The food porn in this instance does nothing for me, other than make me think that I would never for a second consider eating at a restaurant which charges an arm and a leg for a minuscule helping of pretentious food on a silly shaped plate which would look more at home in the Museum Of Modern Art.
Food fans will have their own views, of course. There is some nice London location work.
The only things that bothered me were that if in real life, if a chef smashes up kitchens like Adams does you would sack them, not look on mournfully and carry on as normal like his boss does. Adam doesn’t have redeeming qualities. The love interest (at least she has a decent chef position) Helene (Sienna Miller) oddly loves Adam despite his deep narcissism and abuse of her. He only grudgingly bakes a cake for Helene’s daughter — it’s the nicest thing he does in the film. Bad boy for life!