Burnt (film)

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Burnt Poster Updated.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Wells
Produced by
Screenplay by Steven Knight
Story by Michael Kalesniko
Music by Rob Simonsen
Cinematography Adriano Goldman
Edited by Nick Moore
Distributed by The Weinstein Company
Release date
  • October 22, 2015 (2015-10-22) (New York City premiere)
  • October 30, 2015 (2015-10-30) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes[1]
Country United States
  • English
  • French
Budget $20 million[2]
Box office $36.6 million[3]

Burnt is a 2015 American drama film directed by John Wells and written by Steven Knight, from a story by Michael Kalesniko.[4] The film stars Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Brühl, Matthew Rhys, Riccardo Scamarcio, Alicia Vikander, Uma Thurman and Emma Thompson. The film was released on October 30, 2015, by The Weinstein Company.


Three years ago, Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) worked at one of the premier restaurants in Paris, which his mentor Jean-Luc owned. His drug use and manic drive for perfection caused him to implode, taking the restaurant and a number of his friends' careers with him. Adam disappeared, sobered up, and sentenced himself to shucking one million oysters at a bar in New Orleans. When Adam finishes shucking his millionth oyster he returns to London with a plan to regain his former glory and go for his third Michelin star.

After arriving in London, Adam begins to look up his old colleagues. Jean-Luc's former maître d'hôtel, Tony (Daniel Brühl), now manages his father's hotel. Adam wants to take over the hotel's restaurant, but Tony does not trust him after his behavior in Paris. Adam soon learns that Jean-Luc died and feels deep remorse for how he hurt his mentor. Adam visits his friend Conti (Henry Goodman) at the restaurant Conti owns. He takes a liking to Conti's sous-chef Helene (Sienna Miller), but Helene finds him old-fashioned and unbearably conceited. Adam locates Michel (Omar Sy), another of his friends from Jean-Luc's, but Michel opened his own restaurant. Feeling betrayed, Adam released rats in Michel's kitchen and reported him to a health inspector, which led to the restaurant's closure. Michel forgives Adam and agrees to work for him. Adam pays a visit to Reece's, a cutting edge eatery run by Reece (Matthew Rhys), with whom he has a long-standing rivalry. Reece does not forgive him. Adam also plans to employ another Jean-Luc protege, Max (Riccardo Scamarcio), after he is released from prison. Unfortunately, Adam's reappearance in Europe attracts the attention of his former drug dealer. Eventually, Tony kicks Adam out of his family's hotel. Adam seeks out chef-on-the-rise David (Sam Keeley), who agrees to work at Adam's restaurant and let Adam stay in his apartment.

Adam contacts famed restaurant critic Simone (Uma Thurman) and convinces her to dine at Tony's hotel. Simone's review of Adam's food is favorable enough that Tony and his father agree to renovate their hotel's kitchen and hire Adam as the head chef. They require Adam to submit to weekly drug tests with Tony's psychiatrist Dr. Rosshilde (Emma Thompson), but Adam refuses to see her privately. He throws himself into preparing for his restaurant Langhams' grand opening. Max is released from prison and joins Adam's team. Helene rebuffs further job offers until Conti gently fires her. He sends her to the hotel's kitchen, where Helene tears into Adam for getting her fired. Adam offers her a much higher salary and she agrees to work at Langhams. The opening night turns into a disaster, and Adam closes the restaurant early. He becomes furious with everyone, especially Helene. After humiliating her in front of her colleagues and becoming physically aggressive to her, Helene quits.

Adam goes on talk shows to generate interest in the restaurant. He manages to bring another famous restaurant critic to eat at Langhams. The critic's favorable review cements Langhams as one of London's new go-to eateries and drives Reece into a frothing rage. Tony visits Helene to convince her to return to Langhams. He offers double her salary and some insight on Adam's behavior. Helene agrees and Adam treats her with more respect. However, their relationship hits a bump when Adam refuses Helene's request for an afternoon off to hold a birthday party for daughter Lily (Lexie Benbow-Hart). On Lily's birthday, Tony enters the kitchen and asks Adam to make a birthday cake, to which he refuses, though Tony says a diner has requested one. The kitchen staff explain that Tony learned about Helene's denied request and offered to watch Lily at the hotel. Adam delivers a gorgeous cake to Lily in the dining room and makes an effort to connect with her, thereby improving his relationship with Helene.

Once Langhams has established itself, Tony and Adam prepare to earn a Michelin star. Adam continues to fend off his drug dealer's collectors and to see Dr. Rosshilde for drug tests. He remains impervious to her judgments about his sobriety and his perfectionism but, when asked, admits he knows Tony is in love with him.

When Adam receives an invitation to the reopening of Reece's restaurant, he asks Helene to accompany him. Adam and Reece manage to be civil, but the night derails when Adam spots Jean-Luc's daughter Anne Marie (Alicia Vikander), whom Adam used to date. Adam is surprised when Anne Marie treats him kindly, especially since he abandoned her three years ago and did not attend her father's funeral. Anne Marie has also gotten clean and sober. Helene finds him at a fish market the next morning after he wandered around the whole night mulling over what went wrong in Paris. Jean-Luc was more of a father figure to him than his own dad, and he defined himself by his prowess as a chef. He loved the volatile fast-paced environment of the kitchen and thrived until he did not anymore, began using drugs and eventually came unhinged. He now wants to achieve greatness and does not know how to handle failure.

Adam and Helene share their first kiss in front of the restaurant that morning. Tony interrupts them, but he is not alone. The drug dealer's henchmen have returned, and they want Adam to go with them. He hands the fish to Helene and leaves with them. Tony tells Helene not to worry because Adam can handle himself. That evening, Helene discovers a beaten Adam outside the kitchen entrance. Tony and Helene want to take Adam to the hospital, but before they can do much more than clean him-up, they learn that two Michelin reviewers have come to Langhams. Everyone rushes about in a frenzy, and Adam barely holds things together. They serve the reviewers' meals but minutes later, the two uneaten meals are sent back because their sauces were too spicy. Michel reveals he added cayenne pepper, as revenge for what Adam did to him in Paris. After Michel leaves, Adam laughs maniacally and leaves as well.

Adam wanders around London, climbs onto the railing of Waterloo Bridge and seems to consider jumping. Instead, he throws his notebook, recording the one million oysters shucked, into the river. Later he arrives at Reece's restaurant drunk and bangs on the windows until the cooks let him in and he makes a nuisance of himself in the kitchen. When he pulls a sous-vide bag over his head Reece dismisses his kitchen staff, rips the bag off Adam's head and cradles Adam when he breaks down. The next morning, Reece says that he knows Adam is the better chef and appreciates Adam's work because it pushes him to keep experimenting. They part on far better terms. Adam visits Dr. Rosshilde and attends his first group therapy session. When he returns to the hotel, he learns that Anne Marie has paid his drug debt. She also gives him her father's knives and urges him to be with Helene. Tony and Helene find Adam in his hotel room and tell him that the two men the night before were not Michelin reviewers. Adam is so thrilled to have another chance at getting a Michelin star, he kisses Tony. Visibly ruffled by the exchange, Tony leaves Helene with Adam to ensure he doesn't have a concussion and to dress his wounds. The scene ends with Adam and Helene sharing a passionate kiss.

Adam changes the way he runs the kitchen. He listens to Helene and Max's input, and is more supportive of David. When the real Michelin reviewers come to the Langham, he works with the other chefs, especially Helene, to serve a superb meal and receive their third star. The film ends with Adam finally sharing a meal with his cooks and a few laughs.




In 2013, John Wells was set to direct a cooking comedy film, eventually entitled Burnt, with Bradley Cooper signed to star as a former Paris chef, Adam Jones.[5] Sienna Miller signed as lead actress.[6] Omar Sy, Jamie Dornan, Emma Thompson, Daniel Brühl, Alicia Vikander and Lily James were also set to star in the film.[7] Dornan's appearance was later removed due to cuts and adjustments in the storyline and Lily James's role revealed to be a cameo.[8] Dornan's scenes were added to the home release.[9] The film was originally entitled Chef, and re-titled Adam Jones on July 24, 2014, to avoid confusion with Jon Favreau's film Chef. Uma Thurman joined the cast around this time.[10] According to Deadline Hollywood, as of July 28, 2014, Weinstein was calling the film Untitled John Wells project, until they could decide on a better title.[11] On August 7, 2014, Matthew Rhys was added to the cast, playing chef Jones' rival, Reece.[12] On July 29, 2015, the film was re-titled Burnt.[13]


Principal photography on the film began July 23, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, filming for two days.[14][15] Production then moved to London[10] and West London Film Studios.


On October 2, 2014, Nick Moore was set for the film editing job.[16] During editing of the film, Jamie Dornan's scenes were cut from the finished version.[17] His scenes were later released on the home media release.[9]


The first poster, with the new title Burnt, was released on August 7, 2015.[18][19] Cooper introduced a sneak peek of the film on the Today show on August 10, 2015.[20] The Weinstein Company released the teaser trailer on August 14, 2015.[21] On September 21, 2015, the first international trailer was released.[22] On September 28, 2015, producers released the first full-length trailer for the film and on October 29, 2015, released a clip featuring Vikander and Cooper online.[23][24]


The film was scheduled to be released on October 2, 2015, but in July 2015, The Weinstein Company moved the release date to October 23, 2015.[13] The plan then was to give the film a limited release on October 23, 2015, before a wide release on October 30, 2015.[25] However, they cancelled the limited release plan and immediately released the film nationwide, on October 30, 2015.[26]


Box office[edit]

Burnt grossed $13.7 million in North America and $23.0 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $36.6 million, against a budget of $20 million.[3]

The film opened on October 30, 2015, alongside Our Brand Is Crisis and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. In its opening weekend, the film was projected to gross $7–9 million from 3,003 theaters.[27] However, it only ended up grossing $5 million, finishing sixth at the box office, and marking the second straight underperforming opener for Cooper, following Aloha ($9.7 million opening against its $37 million budget).[28]

Critical response[edit]

Burnt received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Cooper's performance but derided the script and storytelling. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 29%, based on 139 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Burnt offers a few spoonfuls of compelling culinary drama, but they're lost in a watery goulash dominated by an unsavory main character and overdone clichés."[29] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 42 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[30] On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.[27]


  1. ^ "BURNT (15)". British Board of Film Classification. October 27, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  2. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (October 28, 2015). "Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper face 'The Martian' as Halloween spooks box office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 16, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Burnt (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ Chang, Justin (October 21, 2015). "Film Review: 'Burnt'". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2016. 
  5. ^ "John Wells Deal To Direct Bradley Cooper In 'Chef'". Deadline Hollywood. 
  6. ^ "Sienna Miller Boards John Wells' 'Chef' with Bradley Cooper". MovieWeb. 
  7. ^ "Jamie Dornan's First Movie After 'Fifty Shades of Grey' – Bradley Cooper's 'Adam Jones'". TheWrap. 
  8. ^ "Jamie Dornan's part in 'Burnt' has been cut". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Heimbrod, Mimi (January 5, 2016). "'Fifty Shades Darker' Star Jamie Dornan's Deleted Scene From 'Burnt' Released". Design & Trend. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Bradley Cooper's Chef Pic Whips Up New Title, Adds Uma Thurman". Deadline Hollywood. July 24, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  11. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (July 28, 2014). "'Chef' Re-Title Sent Back To Kitchen As Harvey Weinstein Cooks Up Something Tastier". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  12. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (August 7, 2014). "'The Americans' Matthew Rhys Is Bradley Cooper's Nemesis In TWC French Food Pic". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Lowe, Kinsey (July 29, 2015). "'Carol' Gets A Head Start On Awards Season, 'Adam Jones' Retitled 'Burnt'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  14. ^ Christine (July 24, 2014). "'Adam Jones', starring Bradley Cooper, filming in New Orleans this week before moving to Ealing Studios in London". onlocationvacations.com. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  15. ^ Kay, Jeremy (July 24, 2014). "Shoot begins on Adam Jones". Screen Daily. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  16. ^ Caranicas, Peter (October 2, 2014). "Below the Line Bookings". Variety. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ Falcone, Dana Rose (September 23, 2015). "Jamie Dornan's part in Burnt has been cut". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Check out our official movie poster over on @IMDb!". Burnt Movie. Twitter. August 7, 2015.
  19. ^ Evry, Max (August 10, 2015). "Burnt Poster: Bradley Cooper is a Chef on the Edg". ComingSoon.net.
  20. ^ "First look at Bradley Cooper's next film 'Burnt'". Today. August 10, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2015. 
  21. ^ "BURNT - Official Teaser Trailer". YouTube. August 14, 2015. 
  22. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (September 28, 2015). "Bradley Cooper Cooks Up Drama In New International Trailer And Images For 'Burnt'". Indiewire.com. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  23. ^ "BURNT - Official Trailer". YouTube. September 28, 2015. 
  24. ^ Zuckerman, Esther (October 29, 2015). "Bradley Cooper & Alicia Vikander Meet Awkward In This Exclusive Burnt Clip". Refinery29.com. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  25. ^ Alessandro, Anthony D' (October 7, 2015). "Bradley Cooper Chef Dramedy 'Burnt' Changes Up Its Serving Plans Slightly". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  26. ^ Sharf, Zack (October 30, 2015). "Bradley Cooper-Starring Chef Drama 'Burnt' Pulled From Limited Release". Indiewire.com. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "Bradley Cooper, 'The Martian' To Scare Away Sandra Bullock & 'Scouts' At Halloween B.O. – Preview". Deadline Hollywood. 
  28. ^ "Star-Driven Casualties 'Our Brand Is Crisis' & 'Burnt' At The B.O.: What The Hell Happened?". Deadline Hollywood. 
  29. ^ "Burnt (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 18, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Burnt". Metacritic. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 

External links[edit]