Mare’s “Drunken Movie” Review: Burnt


This title is tricky to punctuate. Without the quotes, you might think I am giving a movie review while drunk. But I am not. I am giving a review about a move with drunkenness as the subject matter. Have you noticed how many movies involve drinking in one way or another? And that it is rare for movies to portray addiction accurately?

Have you seen the Bradley Cooper movie Burnt? (Am I asking too many questions?) It is about a chef who has obviously “burnt” some bridges across chichi Europe: gambling, womanizing, boozing, the trifecta of addictive troublemaking. The movie is lackluster, except for the dress Sienna Miller wears in a scene where she goes to the restaurant re-opening for the “other” chef.

This is a man who is très très jealous of Cooper’s cookery. He makes toothpicks of the pricy furniture in his restaurant when he hears Bradly Cooper’s character is back in town.  He throws banquettes through paintings in an adrenalin fueled tantrum, until his patron (according to the movie, every fancy chef has a rich financier who wears bespoke suits and allows them to behave like bratty children) says something obvious, while a chair whizzes past his nose, like, “Mon dieu, most of my net worth is invested in this restaurant…”

And how can Sienna Miller’s character, a single mother who slaves over tiny, artful sprigs of appetizers that keep getting thrown against walls by nutball chefs, afford haute couture?

But I get ahead of myself. Cooper comes back to London wearing his bad deeds like checkered pants… He is hired by a snooty-patooty restaurant, dodges bad guys looking for the money he owes, and generally acts like an asshole. That doesn’t stop Sienna Miller’s character from falling for him (he does look good in his chef’s whites…).

Cooper decrees (and we are supposed to understand that this is a big deal) that he is back in London to get a third star rating from the Michelin folks. He begins to whip his team, made up of all the people who hate him for doing mean/addictive things to them in the past, into what seems to be the pinnacle of cringing, culinary creativity. The reviewers arrive and one of the all suffering cooks sabotages the meal with hot pepper to retaliate for a long ago slight issued by Cooper’s character. Cooper goes nuts –  throws dinner plates and tantrums and relapses, suicidal I think, on a bridge. He’s usually a good actor, and he’s a recovering alcoholic, so it’s weird that the drunk scene is not believable at all – slurring and staggering and yelling – very cliché …

Anyhoo, the Michelin  reviewers were just a couple of mistaken guys who didn’t like hot sauce and the Cooper chef quits drinking again and gets the third star. I’m not even going to apologize for the spoiler alert, because, really – who cares?

The only thing I took away from the movie, other than the physicality of the line chef’s job and the fact everyone says, “Yes chef” to the top guy’s unreasonable demands and it would be fun to have a bunch of people do that, is that the character Bradley Cooper played, has swagger.

I’ve decided I want to be cocky again.

Today I’m not drinking because you can’t be cocky when you’re drunk (as evidenced in the movie – drunk Bradley was not cool…)

How come you’re not drinking?