The film, like its central protagonist, suffered trying to gain success and recognition in the intense and unrelenting kitchen of the film industry. The script was featured on the 2007 Black List, the list of the most liked unproduced scripts. David Fincher was originally attached to direct in 2008, with Keanu Reeves attached to star. Eventually, both Fincher and Reeves left the project in 2010. Then Derek Cianfrance was attached to direct the film in 2013, but dropped out and was replaced by John Wells. Also, the film was originally going to be titled Chef, but Jon Favreau had already used the title for his film. In addition, before the Weinstein Company bought the rights for Adam Jones, it was a Sony Pictures project and the company served Favreau's production with a cease-and-desist over the title Chef, Sony cleared the titles Chef and The Chef with the MPAA and requested Aldamisa (which controlled Favreau's film) to change the title of their film on threat of legal action. Favreau's film ended up with the title Chef and was released in 2014, while Sony/The Weinstein Company's Chef changed its title to Adam Jones in 2014. In July 2015, it was retitled Burnt and will be released in October 2015.
The film stars Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Brühl, Matthew Rhys, Alicia Vikander, Uma Thurman and Emma Thompson. The cast gave strong performances despite lack of development, chemistry and the lack to make them appealing as the dishes their characters create and serve. In addition, Cooper's performance was nothing more than a pale imitation of fictional and non-fictional chefs before him.
Burnt is one of those movies that presents life precisely and meticulously as it isn't, presumably as some kind of consolation for how it really is. With its simplistic compartmentalization of dueling personality types, exquisite styling, overripe camera moves and lousy, overwrought score, the movie feels stubbornly, resolutely disingenuous and one-dimensional. Make no mistake: the film is a factory-sealed romantic comedy drama. But the emotional details of Adam's journey are surprising at certain turns, and the film’s determination to present his predicament sympathetically, makes it notable. The movie is focused on two kinds of chemistry: of the kitchen, and of the heart. The kitchen works better, with the shots of luscious-looking food. But the chemistry between Adam and Helene is terribly lacking, except when we sense some fondness—not really love. The characters seem to feel more passion for food than for each other.
Simon says Burnt receives:
Also, see my review for August: Osage County.