Saturday, 24 October 2015

Bradley Cooper tries hard not to get BURNT

BURNT Preview Screening Review

I got tickets to see Bradley Cooper's new film Burnt about a Chef who's career went up in flames because of his own self sabotaging behaviour.

I really wanted to like this movie because well it's a food movie and Bradley Cooper as (Adam Jones) is the lead in it.  

It also stars the fantastic Emma Thompson as his pseudo therapist and Sienna Miller as a tough cookie Helene a sous chef.  Both women were fantastic but I would have liked to see a little more of their characters developed in the story. Uma Thurman also makes an accent ladened appearance as a food critic.

Bradley Cooper plays kind of the stereotypical arrogant and Gordon Ramsey like tyrant of a boss who tries to achieve perfection in food but has a lot to master in his personal life.  

He was a 2 star Michelin Chef which is already a difficult feat to master but he has reached rock bottom after blowing his career because of his drug addicted lifestyle and the fact that he borrowed money from the wrong people and responsible for leaving a trail of destruction in his past because of his addictions.  Now clean for 2 years he returns to London and looks up some of his old contacts,  one is a rival chef who still has anger towards the things he did in the past and another played by Daniel Bruhl who is a gay Maitre D who is in love with Adam Jones but has been burned by him in the past.  Because he still cares about him he puts up with his insane behaviour and helps him to re launch his career with the help of some former good and bad chefs and Helene the strong and talented chef who is the only person he can connect with as he sees them as the same career obsessed people.  
Will he get his 3rd Michelin Star?  Well he needs to realize the worth of the people he is surrounded by to get there.

This film is filled with lots of food porn and beautiful people and amazing locations in London and Paris but there seems to be a missing ingredient in the mix.  As my friend put it there wasn't enough heart in the story.  There wasn't enough of the backstory and the heart of the lead character shown in the film until the very end so it was hard to connect to his story.  There are plenty of scenes that are just people cooking or eating food so if you aren't into food porn you might not be interested in this film.  

The thing that took me out of the film was a fight scene where he gets beat to a pulp and has a gash on his eye that was bleeding and can barely walk and then all of a sudden they find out that Michelin men have come to the restaurant and he magically recovers and starts the pass.  Firstly,  after just finishing my food handlers certificate there is no way anyone would allow him to cook with blood on his face and an open wound.  If he is a Michelin star chef he knows he could be shut down instantly if a food inspector walked in.  Then there was the makeup person in me that just kept getting my attention drawn to the continuity of the actual gash and the other injuries that seemed to magically change.   
The film was pretty predictable with the plate clearing scene and the yelling and the arrogance and abusive lifestyle.   You knew where this film was going.

For a film with more heart see A hundred Mile Journey with Helen Mirren or watch the documentary For Grace about Michelin Star chef Curtis Duffy who has loads of heart.  I have written a post on that film previously and have met and interviewed chef Duffy who is focused, humble and kind.   I suppose there isn't enough Hollywood drama in a character that is nice but bad behaviour in the kitchen is becoming passe.

If you love food or Bradley Cooper then go see this movie but if you are looking for a great story then I would say pass on this pass.

Sorry Bradley I wanted to love it but it was just a little burnt for me.

The movie release date was Oct. 23rd, 2015