Cooper turns up the heat as a mean chef

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN... Cooper plays a two-star Michelin chef on a quest for redemption after recovering from drug addiction. Director Wells' well-wrought film has a tight plot and distinct characters.


    Oct 29, 2015

    Cooper turns up the heat as a mean chef

    BURNT (NC16)

    Drama/100 min/Opens today

    Rating: 4/5

    The story:

    Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a two-star Michelin chef who loses it all after becoming a drug-addicted diva. After cleaning up his act, he tries to mend bridges, reclaim his reputation and seek that elusive third star with the help of his long-suffering friend Tony (Daniel Bruhl) and protege Helene (Sienna Miller).

    COOPER is best playing jerks.

    He has always looked like a jerk, and he's totally believable as the imperious Jones.

    One of my favourite scenes is where he scolds his underlings after they blow their big opening night.

    With his cruel, vulpine eyes and his wide, predatory mouth, he really sells the snarling and snapping.

    I've been on both sides of such encounters, I really enjoy the crackle of energy.

    When people are passionate about their work, they can go a bit psycho.

    In my opinion, this is how great work often gets done.

    One gets the sense that the same exacting standards were applied to the film itself.

    Intense, insightful and fast-moving, Burnt is a well-wrought picture.

    I'm not a big fan of director John Wells - I truly hated his 2013 family drama August: Osage County - but this veteran of film and television is obviously a total pro.

    Plot is tight, characters are distinct and cinematography is unfussy.

    I bought into the narrative completely. By the end, I was practically praying for Cooper's hateful chef to come out on top.

    Maybe I was won over by that scene where he bakes a birthday cake for a little girl.

    Manipulative? Yes, but that's OK. Sucker that I am, I was touched.