Food, romance, comedy, drama and a pinch of pepper the film Burnt has arrived on Blu-ray/DVD and ladies, find a copy and pop it into your player. A lot of good acting makes the story more palatable than it should have been since its pure Hollywood. Not of love story for the ages, the film’s more of a quest for an ultimate ego rush that works its way into the story early on. That said, there’s a lot of eye candy and food prep for the women along with enough matinee side stories that fulfil a couple of entertaining hours.
Food genius Adam (Bradley Cooper) has been in hiding shucking oysters for the past couple of years since he deserted his mentor Jean Luc in Paris over an affair with his daughter Anne (Alicia Vikander), drugs and drinking. Now surfacing in London, he looks up Tony Bilardi (Daniel Bruhl) the best Maitre ‘d in Europe. Still upset over Adam’s departure from cooking, Tony tries to avoid his father’s best friend since he knows it will be nothing by trouble. But, Adam slowly moves back into the cooking scene to start a new restaurant so he can complete the ultimate Michelin 3 Stars of excellence. Then there’s his his sous chef Helene Sweeney (Sienna Miller) who catches his eye as an interesting addition to his staff.
So beings a story of determination, persistence, control and a whole lot of cooking. Director John Wells (August: Osage County) knows how to create characters with attitude and using his stellar cast he engages them in a lot of bickering, aggression and high pressure situations in order to get the atmosphere of a top notch restaurant that knows how to work their knives and burners. Wells even brings on a master chef, Marcus Wareing, as a consultant to make all the action in the kitchen look real. Wareing is currently a judge on the BBC cooking show Masterchef: The Professionals and has been involved with helping restaurants in Europe get Michelin stars.
Bradley Cooper does a good job of creating Adam making him a recovering addict and alcoholic. He goes up against a tough script that puts his character in situations with nonstop conflicts and pressure to achieve. Cooper looks very good in the role and Wells works his co-stars to the bone making them give performances that look very real. The side stories involving money collectors from his drug use and his affair with his mentor’s daughter Anne, could have been left out as they do detract from the real impetus. It’s the romance of the food and his sous chef that’s the real goal he needs to achieve and there are many pitfalls he has to avoid.
There are some real good bonus features that are worth the watch.
“Burnt: In the Kitchen with Bradley Cooper” goes into the world of cooking and how it relates to the film. Each of the main characters talk about their roles and what the Michelin stars represent.
“Deleted Scenes” The five deleted scenes involve the side stories and were omitted for good reasons.
“Q&A Highlights” with Director Wells and the cast at a Screen Actors Guild screening in Los Angeles.
“Feature Commentary with Director John Wells and Executive Chef Consultant Marcus Wareing.”
Burnt has been rated R by the MPAA for language throughout. There is also a scene or two of violence involving drug dealers.
FINAL ANALYSIS: An above average film mainly for the ladies and food critics. (C+)
Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Bruhl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Sam Keeley, Alicia Vikander, Matthew Rhys, Uma Thurman, Emma Thompson, Lily James
Directed by: John Wells
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Food
Running Time: 1 hr. 41 min.
Original Theatrical Release Date: October 30, 2015
Video Release Date: January 26, 2015
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray (also available in DVD)
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1
Video: Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Number of Discs: 1 Disc + Digital HD, Ultraviolet
Distributed by: The Weinstein Company