"Redemption Through Hard Work"
What You Need To Know:
(BB, CapCapCap, C, Ho, LLL, VV, S, N, AA, DD, M) Strong moral, capitalist worldview with redemptive elements and positive biblical references, with a recurring subplot that recovering protagonist’s friend/boss is a homosexual with a romantic attraction to protagonist; about 65 to 80 obscenities and profanities; chef destroys numerous dishes and bowls in a couple of different scenes while throwing a vicious temper tantrum toward his staff and also grabs a woman by the collar and insults her viciously in front of the other employees, although they later fall in love, plus protagonist beaten up offscreen by his former drug dealers; no depicted sex but protagonist shares passionate kiss with new girlfriend he finds, and he allows homosexual friend to kiss him on the lips because he saved his life and gave him a second chance; upper male nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; cigarette smoking and recovering addict has a relapse; and, chefs are mean to other kitchen workers.
BURNT is the story of a world-class, two-star Michelin-quality chef who lost everything to wine, women and drugs, and his attempt to come back under the guidance of a rich friend. BURNT is a very affecting, uplifting story of second chances, hard work and true friendship, but it’s marred by lots of foul language and a recurring subplot about the fact the protagonist’s friend and boss is a homosexual with a romantic attraction to him.
The movie follows the story of Adam Jones, a fictional chef who appears to be modeled on real-life culinary superstar Anthony Bourdain, who has admitted being a heroin addict before becoming famous. In poorly written, heavy-handed exposition in the opening minutes, the audience hears repeatedly that Jones was a masterful chef who wound up falling hard due to sexual addiction, alcoholism and heroin use. Now, having been shamed out of his former Parisian stomping grounds, he has re-emerged in London. There, Adam’s determined to get backing on a new restaurant of his own from his old friend, Tony (Daniel Brühl), a homosexual who has unrequited romantic feelings for Adam.
Tony is also wealthy and his father was a key mentor to Adam before his passing. So, Tony joins the staff of a restaurant bearing Adam’s name, as Adam builds a team of cooks that includes a beautiful single mother named Helene (Sienna Miller). Since Adam considers his past romantic, sexual relationships to have been more addictive than healthy, he tries to merely maintain a friendship with Helene. As she proves ever more valuable to him, his rollercoaster ride through competing with a former rival and fighting to keep his temper and addictions in check, makes for compelling drama and the basis of a powerful redemptive story.
BURNT suffers from heavy-handed dialogue in its opening minutes, but after that settles in to be a hugely affecting and uplifting story of second chances, hard work, and true friendship. Director John Wells offers up his best movie yet, proving he can finally make a movie as good as his groundbreaking work on the classic TV series ER. Cooper continues his amazing string of Oscar-worthy performances, and Miller and Brühl also offer up deeply resonant, emotional work. While there is fairly frequent foul language in BURNT, it tends to fit in with the context of its emotionally charged scenes rather than always seeming excessively gratuitous.
BURNT is an outstanding, inspiring movie despite the foul language, but extreme caution is, of course, warranted.