Burnt (2016, John Wells)

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Regular readers of the blog will know that I LOVED John Favreau’s Chef movie, so I was naturally drawn to Bradley Cooper latest food-themed offering, Burnt. It should be noted that similarities between the two films pretty much end in the kitchen. Burnt is more adult, and explores a lot darker themes than the feel-good, family feast that Chef prepared for us. That said, it reveals itself to be an easy watch, with a pleasing cast who are equally as photogenic as the food they prepare!

Cooper’s character is Adam Jones; once an exciting young chef creating a buzz in one of Paris’ top restaurants, whose taste for narcotics and other nasties intermittently left him burnt out and jobless.

Adam spends the next five years in solitude, sobering himself up and repenting for his sins. When he finally believes he has paid his dues, he packs his bags and heads for London to reignite his cooking career.

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Once there, he spends the first few weeks tracking down old acquaintances from his Paris days and trying to make amends for his past mistakes. They forgive him, of course, and along with a few other unwitting chef’s he manages to coerce into joining his vagabond club, they set out to earn a Michelin star.

Having tasted success before, Adam is arrogantly confident that he is destined to triumph again. What he fails to consider, is that the restaurant industry has gone through a lot of changes since his days at the top. He is out of touch, and soon finds himself in over his head. Luckily, help is at hand in the form of an adventurous young chef (Sienna Miller), who introduces him to the new craft of culinary.

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The writers take inspiration from real-life, infamously hot-headed chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Marco Pierre-White, to create a lead character who is as fiery as the chillis in his pantry.

Where the storyline flags is in the subplots, which are only momentarily touched upon and fail to really take off. As a result, character building is kept fairly minimal, which is a shame, as I feel the likes of Helene (Miller) could have revealed quite an interesting backstory.

That said, Burnt is still a crowd pleaser, and a recommeded watch for any of my fellow film foodies!

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