« Bright Star (First Look Review) | Main | Sorority Row »

September 11, 2009

The Burning Plain

White blonde women are omens of doom in screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga's arduous directorial debut. Arriaga (screenwriter of "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" and "21 Grams") resorts to his favored time-flipping narrative format in order to delay revelations about New Mexican-born Sylvia (Charlize Theron), now living in Portland, Oregon. There she indulges in meaningless sex to try to block out a past that will inevitably catch up with her. Parallel to Sylvia's story is a narrative concerning a white family of six back in New Mexico, overseen by adulterous matriarch Gina (Kim Basinger). Gina is conducting a hot-and-heavy tryst with a Mexican immigrant. Gina's daughter Mariana (well played by Jennifer Lawrence) becomes aware of her mother's secret and turns to tragic action to express her disapproval. At it’s the film's heart is a story of Mexican immigrants whose romantic encounters with Caucasian women spell disaster. Dramatically flawed by overwrought plotting and one especially unconvincing character of dubious motivation, "The Burning Plain" flirts with a racial thesis that it is unequipped to support.
(Magnolia Pictures) Rated R. 111 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Burning Plain:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos



Throwback Thursday

Podcast Series