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Unlike the hot-tempered chef at the centre of the action, this comedy drama starring a sparky Bradley Cooper never comes to the boil. Cooper plays the head chef who, after going off the rails on booze and drugs, still craves the heat of the kitchen, and is given a second chance by his former boss (Daniel Brühl) at a prestigious London restaurant. Cooper may now be sober but he's still a nightmare for the staff, including Sienna Miller, who very obviously begins melting away those hard edges.
The Company Men
director John Wells - working from a script by Steven Knight (
) - is wary of gushing sentiment, and this isn't a joyous celebration of food like Jon Favreau's
. Instead, Wells and Knight aim to dissect the chef's obsessive-compulsive mind, but they don't get in deep enough, and Emma Thompson, as Jones's therapist, fails by extension. Old flames Alicia Vikander and Uma Thurman (in cameo) don't inform the story either, and a subplot involving an underworld debt fails to up the ante. Naturally, with dishes designed by celebrity chef Marcus Wareing, there's lots of food porn, but the overall sensation is one of emptiness.
An inventive chef's unconventional methods make him the toast of Paris, but his career is derailed by an alcohol and drugs-fuelled meltdown. An old friend offers him a second chance by hiring him to take over the kitchens of an exclusive London restaurant, but has a hard time keeping his acerbic nature in check. Drama, starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl, Emma Thompson and Uma Thurman.
Cast & Crew
Swearing, sexual references.
DVD and Blu-ray
6 Nov 2015
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