Burnt

"Good"

Burnt Review


Strong characters help hold the attention as this overcooked drama develops, but in the end it feels so concocted that it's difficult to believe. While there's plenty of potential in the premise, the film becomes distracted by irrelevant subplots that try to stir up some tension but never quite manage it. And for a movie about food, the cuisine is simply too abstract to be mouthwatering.

At the centre is Adam (Bradley Cooper), a bad boy chef whose partying ways ended his high-flying career in Paris. After a period of penance in New Orleans, he moves to London to start again, with the goal of finally getting his elusive third Michelin star. Since he has alienated his friends, he turns to Tony (Daniel Bruhl), a guy who always had a soft spot for him and happens to be running a posh restaurant, which Adam quickly takes over. He rustles up some old colleagues (Omar Sy and Riccardo Scamarcio) and hires hot-shot Helene (Sienna Miller) as his sous chef. But his demanding perfectionism is keeping things from running very smoothly.

This set-up is ripe for both black comedy and soul-searching drama, and yet writer Steven Knight throws in irrelevant sideroads including a mandated therapist (the wonderful Emma Thompson), a bitter rival (a jagged Matthew Rhys), a couple of randomly violent loan sharks and a precocious little girl. Even though the actors do what they can to make every scene intriguing, none of these story elements add anything to the overall film. Still, Cooper holds the movie together with sheer charisma, even if his sudden transition from absolute tyrant to cuddly sweetheart isn't terribly convincing. At least he adds some surprising textures to his scenes, and indulges in sparky banter with those around him. And while Miller is solid in her thankless role, even she can't breathe life into such a thinly developed romance.

There's a general lack of focus to the whole film, never quite settling on a perspective the audience can engage with. And oddest of all is the food itself, which should be succulent but is instead merely fancy. This is such an elitist world that the unattainability of it all just makes us dislike the characters even more. So even though the film is packed with a variety of comedy and emotion, it never feels very honest about the way its characters interact with each other or the world around them. It's still entertaining and easy to watch, but it ultimately reveals more about how filmmakers cut and paste a movie together than how a chef creates a mouth-watering meal.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Burnt here:




Burnt

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 8 mins

In Theaters: Monday 24th October 2005

Production compaines: Double Feature Films, Weinstein Company, Weinstein Company, The, 3 Arts Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 8.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Adam Jones, as Helene, as Sara, as Leon, as Anne Marie, as Simone, as Dr. Rosshilde, as Reece, as Tony, as Kaitlin, as Michel, as David, Chelsea Li as Bar-Goer, as Max, Christopher Heskey as Conducteur, Erica Emm as Julia - MP Wife

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