Bradley Cooper will try to cook up another hit with “Burnt”

Burnt Bradley Cooper
Over the past half decade or so, Bradley Cooper has gone from an up and coming supporting player to one of Hollywood’s biggest A-listers. Right now, he’s a huge movie star, one who is a favorite of both Academy members as well as theater goers. With the release starting this week of his new star vehicle Burnt, I wanted to discuss that flick as well as his standing in the industry currently. Cooper is as big an A-list actor as anyone in the business, so I’m sure this won’t be the last time we discuss him. If this new film does well, we may even be talking about him as an Oscar nominee once again.

The movie in question is a culinary drama starring Cooper as chef Adam Jones, who was once a rising star in the kitchen but flamed out, partially due to bad behavior and partially due to drug addiction. Newly clean, he sets out to dominate the food industry once again, starting by opening a restaurant in London that can gain the elusive rating of three Michelin stars. John Wells directs a script from Steven Knight (with story credit going to Michael Kalesniko as well), while the cast besides Cooper includes Daniel Brühl, Sarah Greene, Lily James, Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys, Omar Sy, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, and Alicia Vikander. Of course, the star here is Cooper, with this a vehicle here for his charm and talents.

What gives me hope here is that Cooper has more or less been catnip for Oscar voters. He’s been nominated three years running, with a total of four nominations to his credit. First up was his Best Actor citation for Silver Linings Playbook, with the year after being a Best Supporting Actor nod for American Hustle, while last year he got a pair of noms, one being for producing American Sniper while the other was in Best Actor for his performance in that flick. At this point, he’s due for a win, so a classy star vehicle like this could potentially have him in the running once again.

In terms of awards, it could be one shot or nothing for Burnt. If it turns out that The Weinstein Company has a hit on their hands, which is possible, if not amazingly likely, they could try to campaign the film in Best Picture, Best Director (for Wells), Best Actor (for Cooper), Best Supporting Actor (for Brühl), Best Supporting Actress (for Miller), and Best Original Screenplay (for Kalesniko and Knight). That being said, I think it’s Cooper in Actor or bust here, with the latter probably the likely outcome. We shall see though, as anything is possible when Harvey Weinstein is in the mix.

As a bonus, here’s what I consider to be Cooper’s ten best performances so far, not counting Burnt, which I have yet to see. Behold:

10. Failure to Launch
9. Wedding Crashers
8. The Words
7. New York, I Love You
6. The Hangover
5. Guardians of the Galaxy
4. American Hustle
3. The Place Beyond the Pines
2. American Sniper
1. Silver Linings Playbook

This weekend, audiences will be able to start checking out Cooper in Burnt, potentially deciding his awards fate in the process. Cooper also has his supporting role in David O. Russell’s movie Joy to potentially get him in, so he doesn’t lack for projects. At this point, it’s a matter of if, not when, for an Academy Award on his mantle. Right now though, he’s still a bridesmaid waiting to be a bride, as it were. It’ll happen, so whether or not it’s for Burnt, fans of Cooper can take comfort in the almost inevitability of an Oscar win for the actor. Stay tuned…

bradley-cooper-burnt kitchen
Be sure to check out Burnt, in theaters starting this Friday!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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