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yolanda
04-14-2009, 11:25 PM
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A drama with a two-tiered storyline concerning a mother (Basinger) and daughter (Theron) who try to form a bond after the young woman's difficult childhood.
The writer Guillermo Arriaga, much famed for his trilogy of films with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, namely Amores Perros, 21 grams and Babel, steps behind the camera and debuts his own directing skills with 'The Burning Plain' a multi-layered affair that at its core tries to explore how we deal with guilt. If you didn't like the style of the afore mentioned films then chances are you wont get on with this either. The story is told in interweaving flashbacks and over different time periods and does require some work on the part of the viewer. But with plot pieces trickled out like a breadcrumb trail right up to the end, a great but subtle score and some breathtaking scenery it grips you as you slowly piece it all together. Added to that there are the two brilliant central performances from Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger, as the damaged mother and daughter and a supporting cast that in their various roles are also superb especially Jennifer Lawrence who rightly won an award at the Venice Film Festival. The cinematography is great and the colours are so warm you can almost feel the Mexican heat coming out of the screen. The direction while not quite as good as Inarritu proves that Arriaga was indeed paying attention and the overall feel is eerily similar. The only downside is that it does leave certain characters stories unfinished but that really is just a minor quibble in what is a very emotionally charged and challenging film.


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