Movie review by Andrea Karen Hammer
Burnt (2015), like other food-focused movies including Chef, reveals the intense behind-the-scenes pressure of the culinary world. Those in obsessive pursuit of a third Michelin star like Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) often turn up the heat in an already sizzling kitchen.
As shown in other foodie films like Mostly Martha, chefs’ tempers can flare and result in restaurant-wide melt-downs. In Burnt, Bradley Cooper is a hot-headed chef who throws dishes when co-workers don’t create food art that meets his exacting standards.
Chef’s Brassy Bravado and Sous Chef’s Ability to Withstand Heat in the Kitchen
By way of full disclosure, this reviewer’s backstory knowledge of the down-to-earth actor who grew up in our neighborhood is completely at odds with his often belittling manner in this foodie film. With his brassy bravado a cover for Adam Jones’ painful previous experiences, Bradley Cooper also earns props for one of the most unsettling scenes ever witnessed–after another chef deliberately destroys a meal as payback.
Sienna Miller, as Jones’ reluctant sous chef, initially seems like an unlikely match capable of handling his personal and professional intensity. However, the British-American actress, drawing on quiet power from Broadway performances, goes beyond withstanding the heat in this kitchen. As Helene, Sienna Miller can fling an apron and flip a colorful word with equal anger before tenderly helping Jones heal physically after a severe beating for owed drug money and emotionally from childhood wounds.
Extra Seasoning in Film Including Fascinating Bonus Material
As the maitre d’ who pines for Jones, Daniel Brühl delivers another strong yet subtle performance, which adds seasoning to this film. The actor has demonstrated his ability to handle a wide range of diverse roles including the young musician who is washed ashore in Ladies in Lavender.
In fascinating bonus material Q&As at the end of this foodie film, the actors’ easy banter reveals the cohesiveness of this international ensemble. Despite the title of the film, Burnt is a deliciously photographed film with quality ingredients, which is cooked to absolute perfection.