Review: Burnt

(This entry has been cross-posted in

Title: Burnt
Year: 2015
Director: John Wells
Writers: Steven Knight (screenplay), Michael Kalesniko (story)
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl 

Meet Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper). Adam was a pretty talented chef (or so what he claimed himself) which managed to get two Michelin stars when he worked in one of top restaurants in Paris owned by Jean-Luc. However, he destroyed his career with drugs and arrogant behavior combined with crazy demand on perfection. Went to New Orleans, he tried to clean himself while working part time in a restaurant. Once he reached his threshold (which was one million oysters being shucked), he went to London and determined to redeem himself by bringing a top restaurant that can get three Michelin stars.

It was not Adam if he did not cause ruckus for his friend Tony (Daniel Brühl), who was running his father’s hotel. He persuaded Tony to give him opportunity to achieve his goal of three Michelin stars, but it was not easy for Tony to immediately agree considering Adam’s bad history.

Adam started his plan by searching his ideal team members: Helene (Sienna Miller), a sous chef in his friend, Conti’s restaurant, which he liked; Michel (Omar Sy), his friend from Jean-Luc’s who was angry because of incident done by Adam but eventually forgave and willing to work with Adam; Max (Riccardo Scamarcio), also Adam’s friend from Jean-Luc’s who was about to be released from jail and chef-on-the-rise David (Sam Keeley), who agreed to work at Adam’s restaurant and let Adam stayed in his apartment temporarily. As a final action, Adam invited famed restaurant critic Simone (Uma Thurman) to dine at Tony’s hotel. Left without a choice, Tony agreed to have Adam cooking for her. Simone’s review of Adam’s food was favorable that Tony and his father agree to renovate their hotel’s kitchen and hire Adam as the head chef. However, they made Adam doing regular drug tests with Tony’s psychiatrist Dr. Rosshilde (Emma Thompson).

The opening night which was highly expected unfortunately turned into a disaster. Adam, who was a true perfectionist, released his furious to all his kitchen members, especially to Helene, who decided to quit later on. Adam then did some TV talkshows to build again the credit while preparing another relaunch of the restaurant. Tony managed to bring Helene back, and slowly Adam and the team working their way to reach the three Michelin stars goal.

I will stop here because I might give you some spoiler if I continue (lol). I think this movie was not too bad, but for sure not the one which will remain in your mind long enough. The idea was actually good, but the execution was not that smooth.

Let’s start with the characters. Adam was an arrogant, cocky, snob person and he yelled a lot. Like, a lot. The thing is, there was no scene where he shared his knowledge or coached his team members, except with Helene, and even that could be easily assumed as his way in approaching Helene as love interest. How can he be so arrogant, yelling to everyone and expecting them to be excellent if he did not communicate with them? I expected some connection between Adam and his colleagues, but I found none. In other hand, the supporting characters were not strong enough to leave memorable impression. Tony, for example, could be a really interesting character who lead the story forward together with Adam. Unfortunately his scenes were limited, his one-side-crush to Adam was not exposed well (which I think could be interesting as well) and he acted more like Adam yes-man rather than his friend. Same happened with character of Helene. Shallow digging of these characters made the movie lost opportunity in making the conflicts more interesting.

The movie plot was not too bad. The sequence was pretty clear though I found some anticlimax here and there (e.g.drug dealer’s collector issue which was solved pretty quickly). I love all beautiful dishes served along the movie. At least for this part they did their preparation and execution really well.

In conclusion, this movie was okay. Good enough to be watched during your relaxing day when you want to watch some drama without thinking too much.

Rate: 2.5 from 5 stars


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