DVDpendence . videophile . blu-ray



With Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Brühl, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman

Written by Steven Knight & Michael Kalesniko
Directed by John Wells

A cocky, highly successful American chef who made his name in Europe has fallen from grace - excess, drugs and a hot head having him hit rock bottom.

But he scrapes himself up and enters a period of self-imposed penance. Years later after reaching his goal, he returns to London to rise from the ashes and resurrect both his career and the public's taste for daring and exciting food.
He crosses paths with many past friends, lovers, colleagues and associates, all turned enemies as a result of his own behaviour (and there are some drug dealers to whom he owes a lot of cash to add to the danger). But his charisma and passion has many of them come on board for his risky ride of creating a new restaurant to earn him a third Michelin star. He also poaches a sous chef from a rival (a single mother for whom he will naturally fall).

His drive, determination and unbalanced perfectionism has a built in self-destruct button, even when things seem like it may be looking up.

The "cuisine" genre obviously goes beyond food but acts as a metaphor or catalyst for the characters (from Babette's Feast, Big Night and Julie & Julia, to Haute Cuisine and Chef). The food TV networks are everywhere with chef personalities abundant, giving a theme like this a ready audience, but, filmmakers can't make it an episode of the latest Gordon Ramsey show or Iron Chef, and need some meat on the bone with character and narrative dilemmas. That is not in short supply here, but will be too mundane and expected for many viewers.

3 / C
- Paul Blom

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
- A - B
- C

6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temp.
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multiple Viewing Potential
B: Deserves Another Look
C: Once Should Suffice

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