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Burnt (2015) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 14 August 2015


Jay´s Review

I always think long and hard before I send a dish back to the kitchen in a restaurant, because I know it's the poor server who must bear the brunt of the chef's reaction...and it might be nuclear. In this story, we can see what a daunting challenge it is to become a top chef, but if you've already achieved it and then watched your career implode due to drugs, alcohol and ego, you can see why our hero has a self-imposed penance. He has promised himself he will shuck 1,000,000 (a million!) oysters before he will allow himself to try again.

We join him as he logs that final oyster after three long years. He walks away from his employment and gets ready to try again. This R-rated dramedy is directed by John Wells ("August: Osage County") working with a screenplay by Steven Knight ("Seventh Son") from Michael Kalesniko's story. It takes us to chaotic closeups of kitchens in several high-end London restaurants.

The cast:

  • * Bradley Cooper ("Silver Linings Playbook") Adam Jones is in recovery for drugs and alcohol, with a long list of bad debts and abused friendships that he must own and try to rectify. His ego is another matter. Chefs are the superstars of the restaurant world...and they are all seeking a one-, two- or three-star Michelin rating.
  • * Sienna Miller ("American Sniper") is Helene, who has to take a position with Adam after he got her fired from her current job. Her young daughter is quite the taste tester... Adam forces Helene to apologize to the turbot for making it die in vain.
  • * Daniel Brühl ("Rush") is Tony, who reluctantly hires Adam again, fully aware of his potential for trouble. Their story unfolds slowly over the course of the film.
  • * Omar Sy ("The Intouchables") Michel should still be angry at the dirty trick Adam pulled on him in Paris "back in the day," but all is forgiven and he joins him in London with his new endeavor. 
  • * Emma Thompson ("A Walk in the Woods") Dr. Rosshide will never quit trying to persuade Adam that group therapy might help. She monitors his sobriety and tries to talk some sense into him.
  • * Alicia Vikander ("The Man from U.N.C.L.E.") Anne Marie is a daughter of the deceased Parisian chef who gave Adam his first toque. She and Adam have a history and she too, is in recovery. Her father willed his knives to Adam.
  • * Uma Thurman ("The Slap") Simone Forth is an arrogant reviewer who specializes in restaurants. 

This film is absolute Nirvana for foodies. In extreme closeups, we see preparation of numerous gourmet dishes, plus fast food which Adam studies for new ideas. The photography is yummy and Cooper is very, very good. As you might expect with this top-notch cast, all of the acting is wonderful and the (sorta) predictable story is satisfying.

Expect wonderful photography, lots of kitchen action, scores of F-bombs, an unexpected (but well-deserved) kiss, a few plot twists, and many people to root for. No gunshots, no vehicular mayhem and no blowie uppie stuff. Whew!

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