A meticulously coiffed Bradley Cooper cruises around town on a superbike. Haute cuisine relies just as heavily on presentation as actual substance and Cooper still looks the part in John Wells’ Burnt (2015) – even as a recovering addict and bad boy superstar chef. Jon Favreau’s Chef (2014) provided welcome chicken soup therapy with the loveable actor-director at the helm. However, Burnt follows more the Gordon Ramsey route, its tone and narrative distinctly bitter and vindictive, with just a dash of redemption thrown in.
During the deep freeze that hit North America last week I watched a news report on how the homeless men and women of Washington DC were handling the extreme cold. They huddled together, warming their hands on cups of tea given out by a local charity. One man, beaming a toothless smile, said “It’s the survival of the fittest, man!” As much as America is a land of opportunity and the American Dream remains a dream for the Jay Gatsby’s amongst us; for many it is a dog-eat-dog struggle. Whether this is a fight against the injustice of homelessness, the harshness of Mother Nature, the feds, the mob, or even yourself, it is about doing what you have to do to survive.