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Film / Burnt

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"Jean-Luc, my mentor, the guy who gave me a chance as a chef, said to me it was God who created oysters and apples. And you can't improve recipes like that. But it is our job to try."
Adam Jones

Burnt is a 2015 drama film starring Bradley Cooper as a brilliant but temperamental chef trying to return to prominence.

The film also stars Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Brühl, Alicia Vikander, Matthew Rhys, Uma Thurman, Emma Thompson, Lily James, Sarah Greene and Riccardo Scamarcio.

Tropes present in this film include:

  • Analogy Backfire: A Star Wars metaphor is used to explain how good a chef one has to be to get a Michelin star. To get three, you have to be Yoda. Sara wonders if that means Adam is really Darth Vader.
  • And Starring: "With Emma Thompson and Lily James."
  • Angry Chef:
    • Adam spends most of his time in the kitchen yelling at the other chefs, and at one point even forcefully grabs Helene and shoves her. He (hopefully) gets better, though.
    • Max was sent to prison for cutting one of his chef's noses off for the greivous crime of plating a monkfish upside down three times. However, from what little we actually see of him in the kitchen, he seems to be pretty nice, and even praises and encourages David after he briefly takes over as head chef.
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  • Best Served Cold: Michel had his restaurant sabotaged by Adam, and after a fistfight, seemingly reconciles in order to work with Adam. Near the end he reveals he's simply been biding his time and intentionally over-seasons a dish to sabotage the meal of the Michelin judges.
  • The Casanova: Adam apparently was quite the ladies' man in the past, so much so that one of the things he gives up when going cold turkey is women. In the movie itself, four people, including a lesbian and a gay man, express being or having been attracted to him at one point.
  • Career Resurrection: In-universe. Adam, after having completely destroyed his career as a chef years before due to his own actions, comes to London seeking to open a new restaurant, make a comeback, and get three Michelin stars.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Adam is mentioned to have had a difficult childhood: he had no mother and his father wasn't much better. At nineteen, he left home for Paris and never looked back.
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  • Deadpan Snarker: Adam, so very, very much.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Adam has a history of drug abuse that destroyed his career.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Much of the time after Adam's Heroic BSoD is spent with him trying to repair his mistakes. He reconciles with Reece, Anne Marie, Tony, and Helene, attends group meetings with Dr. Rosshilde, gets his third star, and accepts the other chefs as his family.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Helene was this once, and she could stay up for days partying. However, she changed once she found out she was pregnant.
  • Family of Choice: Helene says that the other chefs and Tony are her family, and they're also Adam's, and that he should accept them. In the last scene, Adam sits down for the family meal, which he had refused to do earlier, showing that they are his new family.
  • Fast-Food Nation: France has become one because of fast food chains exported from the United States such as Burger King.
  • Food Porn: Yes, naturally, it's a movie about a gourmet chef.
  • French Jerk: A lot of the French characters are quite arrogant and hostile. Ironic or not, the French think of Americans as jerkasses.
  • Heroic BSoD: After getting beaten up by his former drug dealers and gettimg his chance at a third star sabotaged by Michel, Adam falls Off the Wagon after two years of sobriety, goes to Reece's restaurant, and tries to suffocate himself with a sous vide bag.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Simone says this about Adam, although it isn't quite "okay."
    Simone: You know, when I lie awake at night and list my regrets, you're one of them. I say to myself, "Simone, you're a lesbian. Why did you sleep with Adam Jones?"
  • Incompatible Orientation: Tony has had a crush on Adam for a long time, but Adam doesn't reciprocate because he's straight. Curiously, everyone, including Adam himself, is completely aware of it, and Adam even kisses him at one point, though this is more as a way of showing gratitude for everything that Tony's done instead of any genuine romantic feelings.
  • Insufferable Genius: Everyone thinks that Adam is a genius, but he's frequently temperamental and abusive to his staff.
  • Jerkass: Despite his main character status and talent, Adam Jones is this. Adam is a vile, abusive, hostile, violent, manipulative, unlikable, borderline sociopathic, and all-around horrible human being.
  • Manchild: Reece's reaction to Adam's successful reopening night is to essentially throw a tantrum and angrily destroy his own restaurant. His investor snidely compares him to a schoolgirl.
  • Off the Grid: After destroying his career in Paris, Adam disappeared and went to Louisiana to shuck a million oysters as punishment and went sober. When he returns to Europe two years later, his old restaurant had to close down because no one knew where he was and there'd been rumors he'd been stabbed to death in Amsterdam.
  • Off the Wagon: After losing his chance to get a three-star rating from Michelin, Adam goes on a bender and tries to suffocate himself with a sous-vide bag.
  • Open Secret: Tony's crush on Adam seems to be this among the kitchen, as not only is Adam aware of it, but Helene also seems to be, given that she barely reacts when Adam kisses Tony. She even looks a little happy for them.
  • Parental Substitute: It's implied that Adam saw Jean-Luc as a father figure.
  • Poverty Food: Although a master in making gourmet food, Adam loves Burger King and chows down on a Whopper and fries calling them delicious and affordable. Helene denigrates Burger King for being high in fats and salts, and so there is a correlation between being poor and being obese/unhealthy.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Adam and Reece's first confrontation is just them shooting barely-veiled jabs at each other, with Adam taking special notice to insult Reece's career.
  • Therapy Is for the Weak: Adam has to take weekly drug tests administered by Tony's psychologist, and repeatedly refuses to attend her group therapy sessions, presumably because he doesn't want to admit that he's messed up and in need of help. Him showing up for a group session following his Heroic BSoD is a major sign of his Character Development.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Subverted. What seemingly entices Tony to allow Adam take over his restaurant is that it's his last chance to make his dying father proud of him again. However, it's later revealed that he did it not for his father, but rather for Adam, who he has a crush on.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Reece and Adam were once good friends back when they worked at Jean-Luc's kitchen, but have become bitter rivals by the time that movie takes place. It's implied that their falling-out was caused due to Adam's drug abuse.
  • What You Are in the Dark: After Adam shows up at his rival Reece's restaurant very drunk and tries to suffocate himself with a sous vide bag, Reece restrains him, gets the bag off his head, lets him stay in the kitchen after Adam passes out, and even makes breakfast for him the next morning.
  • Worthy Opponent: Adam's arch-rival Reese tells him that he needs Adam to be great to inspire greatness in himself.