Having just an iota of an idea of what it takes to make a feature film, I weigh any criticism very heavily before expressing it, especially in a review. I also generally include the effort put into a film as part of my quantification of it's overall quality.
There was a lot of effort put into Burnt. It was a very well-made film. The cinematography was graceful, the actors effective in their roles, the score appropriate and moving, and the story well-written and actualized. However, I have two fairly negative issues with this film.
The first is with Bradley Cooper, yet again playing the dude who "threw it all away," only to stage a glorious comeback. Bradley Cooper is a very good looking white man in America. I understand those attributes in no way diminish a person's suffering, but he is not really someone I can relate to in a way that might inspire hope.
Can I feel empathy for his characters? Sure. Do I feel their pain when they are trying to overcome being selfish assholes in order to further pad their egos by doing nothing of benefit to anyone but themselves? No!
I really wish Bradley Cooper would stop putting me in the awkward position of trying to emotionally connect with characters who elicit nothing more from me than the urge to say, "boo fucking hoo; you're a gorgeous white guy with people falling all over themselves to find that minuscule positive quality that will justify putting up with all of your egomaniacal bullshit." It just doesn't do it for me.
The second is with the subject matter: chefs are assholes, and glorifying them irritates the shit out of me. I don't understand why anyone would ingratiate themselves to narcissistic, sadistic jerks in order to cook food for them. I understand that cooking is an art form, and requires skill and intensity and dedication and a lot of hard work...but do you really have to be such a dick about it?
Is there some unwritten rule of chefs that requires them to be abusive to their subordinates? Is it not possible for anyone to become a great chef unless they endure the tyranny of chefs before them, and continue the tyranny upon future chefs to ensure great chefs will continue to abound? What is it with chefs? I don't get it, and I don't like it. There simply is no excuse for systematically and repeatedly treating others that poorly.
In conclusion, Burnt is a hellish combination of the delightful Ocean's 11 and Hell's Kitchen; the offspring of Danny Ocean and Gordan Ramsey is shockingly unattractive.
I'm giving this film a 6.5 out of 10 because the cinematic quality and story composition were quite excellent, despite the disaster of a subject and a point.