So after the Oscar nominated American Sniper right at the start of the year Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller have joined forces once again. However this time their collaboration sees the pair try to deal with the heat of the kitchen rather than the effects of the battlefield. I think that’s where the comparisons will end as these two films are worlds apart from each other but both enjoyable in their own way.
Last year John Favreau brought us his take on the culinary world with Chef and viewers across the world loved it, they enjoyed the over indulgent food porn that it offered. Burnt has a similar but different quality to it as well. Of course as the film follows Bradley Cooper’s character, chef, Adam Jones there is much to enjoy in terms of food. However where this differs from Chef is that it isn’t over indulgent but instead it’s understated and aesthetically pleasing. So whilst you won’t come out of Burnt with a rumbling tummy you’ll no doubt be able to appreciate the works of art that are produced as an element of the story here. Keeping things in the kitchen, what a great setting for a film it is. If you’ve ever worked in a kitchen you’ll know that there is much potential for drama. Burnt takes full advantage of this creating fantastic drama, this comes across in many ways; from Cooper screaming at his colleagues or the tension that is present as dishes are constructed for critiquing. Either way when things were happening in the kitchen Burnt was always entertaining and even when this drama wasn’t necessarily unfolding what the viewer does get is a brilliant range of ingredients being tossed in pans which is just as pleasing to watch.
The film has quite a few big names attached to it, and whilst some will complain of the wasted talents of Alicia Vikander, Omar Sy and Emma Thompson I think it’s always a good idea to have well known and popular actors/actresses play these smaller roles. Certainly in Burnt this works well and even Uma Thurman pulls off her restaurant critic role well. The larger roles fall to Cooper, Miller and Daniel Brühl who are all great. Cooper is convincing as a chef and I bought him as this character. The same can be said for Miller as she portrays a talented sous-chef. Of course Daniel Brühl brings his usual charm to his role too never more appropraite than here as he plays a maître d’hôtel. The potentially predictable emotional moments are played out right and never focused on for too long to become tiresome. These moments are always portrayed in a believable way and aren’t dramatised in an over the top fashion. My only real complaint with the film is that I thought the ending was a little flat but otherwise I don’t see much wrong with this movie.
I’m baffled by the harsh reviews Burnt has been receiving, sure the wheel hasn’t been reinvented here but the film still manages to entertain for the entirety of the run time. Burnt is a simple but enjoyable story told well. The cast perform their roles with charm and believability resulting in some pleasant easy viewing for audiences. With Burnt I’m unlikely to go back for seconds but ultimately I was satisfied with what I got and I was happy to pay the price of admission.
Rating – 8/10