Directed by John Wells, Starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl, Emma Thompson, Matthew Rhys and Omar Sy. A once prestigious chef in Paris, Adam Jones is trying to redeem himself in the world of fine dining by achieving one of the highest honours in cooking, Three Michelin Stars.
The underlining message throughout the film appears to be that no matter how much of a bastard you are to those within your profession, or how you achieve success, as long you are the best in your field the rudeness and arrogance become entirely justified and you are respected and loved. This is explained by Toni the owner of the restaurant who explains to Sienna Miller’s character that Chefs work in high pressured and stressful jobs, who would of course not understand the pressures of a kitchen having just been forced to leave a very successful kitchen in order to work for Jones. By approaching the character of Jones in this manner, particularly in one scene which is played well but shows an almost violent nature, it reduces the quality of the film. There are also a few unfinished narratives and a very anti-climatic ending, the overall message is worryingly flawed but repeatedly made.
At first, the film moves at a pace that is exciting and beautifully filmed in regards to the cooking scenes and is very stylish throughout. However, this high tempo does not last long and begins to burn out very quickly. The cast is strong and some are likeable with moments I genuinely did not see coming. However, the underlining message and feeling I was left with is the one stated at the beginning of this review. The scenes themselves are wonderfully acted but the John Wells is at points just so truly horrible that it feels very wrong for him to be so loved by his friends.
OVERALL ** What could have been a really engaging and cleverly directed film, which at times is promising with some charming characters, is instead undermined by Jones’s almost violent scenes which feel unnecessary and spoil his character and the film.
RECOMMENDATION – I wouldn’t really, as much as I do like all actors, and they do all act very well, very little can be gained from watching it.