A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Burnt is a fairly intense drama about a famous chef (Bradley Cooper) who disappeared at the top of his game after drugs and drinking undid him -- and who's now seeking redemption and a comeback. There are some pretty mature themes in play, including addiction, relationship problems, self-destruction, sobriety, and forgiveness. Expect tons of salty language, from "hell" to "s--t" and "f--k," passionate kissing, and frank discussions about the toll that addiction takes.
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What's the story?
Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) was once a celebrated, twice-Michelin-starred chef at a Parisian restaurant -- but he walked away from everything after his drinking and drug use overcame his culinary gifts. Adam gets clean back home in the United States, opting to spend his days shucking oysters ... until one day he decides that he's served his time, so he jets back to London for a third go at a Michelin star. Tony (Daniel Bruhl), the son of Adam's former mentor, isn't sure he wants to be embroiled with Adam again, but he can't deny the chef's genius, so he decides to invest in Adam's comeback. But has Adam really conquered his demons? An attractive sous-chef (Sienna Miller) and visits from friends and foes in his previous life show Adam that the past is very much in the present.
Is it any good?
BURNT is kinetic and compelling, even if it does stick to a well-worn cinematic formula. We can pretty much predict where Adam is headed and that the way there will be complicated (though even the complexities are fairly standard). Nonetheless, the entire ensemble -- led by an admirable Cooper -- is watchable. Anytime he's on screen, viewers are interested, because he grounds Adam realistically while still managing to imbue him with a certain glamour.
And the food! Director John Wells rightfully makes sure the food doesn't take play second fiddle here, offering it up in all its delectable glory, from street food to classic French cuisine. Prepare to leave hungry -- but still (mostly) satisfied.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Burnt handles the subjects of substance use/addiction and recovery. Does it glamorize them? Are the consequences realistic?
Does Adam deserve a second chance? Do you consider him a role model? Why or why not?
What's role does food play in the film? Is it meant for fuel and consumption or as a statement about sophistication? Can you think of other movies that revolve around food?
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