I lasted an hour with Burnt. It’s not that I couldn’t stand Bradley Cooper‘s egoistic rock-star chef, Adam Jones, who’s looking to make a comeback after self-destructing a couple of years earlier due to (what else?) drugs and hubris. My three-and-a-half years of sobriety has taught me to respect the idea of making amends, turnarounds, forgiveness. So I had nothing against the character. On the other hand I just didn’t give a shit.
Maybe it was the moment when I realized Cooper’s Jones was a kind of dry drunk who was capable of rants and temper tantrums and throwing stuff at the walls regardless of his sobriety. Maybe I just got sick of his personality. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. All I know is that after 45 minutes or so and I started to ask myself, “Am I going to stick this out or do something better with my time between now and 10 or 11 pm or so?” I started to pay less and less attention to the film as I began to make a list of things I could get to. So at the 60-minute mark I slipped out of the screening room as quietly as I could.
Maybe it wasn’t just the character but Cooper’s vibe? I reviewed the last few years and decided that I’d really liked Cooper’s personality or aura in only two films — Limitless and especially Silver Linings Playbook — but that not all that much in Hit and Run, The Place Beyond The Pines, American Hustle, any of the Hangover films, American Sniper and Aloha (which I finally saw on Vudu two or three weeks ago…yeesh). I probably would have admired his stage performance in The Elephant Man had I seen it, but I didn’t. I don’t want to fall into a Cooper attitude of any kind. He’s a smart, hard-working who’s trying to do well. Let’s just say that he needs to stay away from playing obnoxious assholes for the foreseeable future. Let it go at that.