First look at ‘The Burning Plain’

Posted by · 12:34 am · August 14th, 2008

As I mentioned in my Venice preview, “The Burning Plain,” the directorial debut from screenwriter extraordinaire Guillermo Arriaga, is one of my most anticipated titles of the year. Now a new series of images from the film has been revealed – check them out here.

Not much to be gleaned from them that you hadn’t suspected already – it’s clearly an intimate piece focusing on actors rather than visual fireworks, and Charlize Theron is in dressed-down (but still beautiful) mode. The synopsis provided indicate that Arriaga is playing typically complex structural games:

“The Burning Plain” weaves together two storylines taking place in the past and present. Kim Basinger will play Gina, the mother of Charlize Theron’s character as seen in childhood. Theron will play Sylvia, who tries to find common ground with her parents after a turbulent childhood. The two narratives eventually converge.

So far, so good. Meanwhile, the announcement that the film will also play at Toronto only emphasises that this is one to watch. Arriaga has yet to misfire in my view – incidentally, his novel, “The Night Buffalo,” is excellent too.

We all know by now how great an actress Theron can be when she connects with her material, and Basinger, rather like her ex-husband, is a more interesting character player than she ever was a star. (I’ve squeezed the former actress into my list of predictions – you can take a look at them here.) Here’s hoping the momentum keeps building.

→ 6 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

6 responses so far

  • 1 8-14-2008 at 9:57 am

    Xavi Rodriguez said...

    Kris, did you see the film adaptation of “The Buffalo Night”? It was an awful film, over-the-top acting (The only decent actor is Liz Gallardo), mediocre screenplay (Arriaga’s adaptation) and inept direction. A fail project

    I don’t know, I’m mexican but I’m sceptical about his film, I think is another “Life before her Eyes” and the rpinicpal question is When the real release date?.

    Arriaga’s best two works in screenplay are “Amores Perros” and “The three Burials of Melquiades Estrada”.

  • 2 8-14-2008 at 12:35 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Xavi, I wrote the post, not Kris.

    I admit I haven’t seen The Night Buffalo (a co-written effort, I see), so my statement was a bit sweeping – but I maintain he’s one of the best writers out there.

    Of course, it’s all speculation at this point – the film could be awful. But I think comparing it to The Life Before Her Eyes simply because it shares a few thematic and structural strands is a bit hasty.

  • 3 8-14-2008 at 11:21 pm

    Marvin said...

    No Blanchett love?

    And what’s the original song for Pineapple Express?

    And I’m glad to see Gomorra on your list. I haven’t seen it but the press sure wrote nice things about it. Actually, I’m kind of dying to see it ASAP.

  • 4 8-15-2008 at 10:05 am

    Xavi Rodriguez said...

    Sorry, Guy… Lapsus Brutus!!!

  • 5 8-16-2008 at 1:40 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    No one loves Blanchett more than I do, Marvin :)

    I’m just a bit unsure of her category at the moment. Definitely on the radar though. And the Pineapple Express song is by Huey Lewis.

    Thanks for checking out the predictions – like Kris’, they’re updated at the start of each month.