The Burning Plain (2009) Kim Basinger plays a sad married mom in New Mexico who screws around — until her dreams go up in smoke. Charlize Theron plays a… 2009-09-18 R PT111M Drama Kim Basinger Charlize Theron John Corbett Robin Tunney Magnolia Pictures
Movie Review

The Burning Plain (2009)

MPAA Rating: R
Charlize Theron, The Burning Plain | OUTRAGEOUS MISFORTUNE Charlize Theron suffers through life in The Burning Plain
OUTRAGEOUS MISFORTUNE Charlize Theron suffers through life in The Burning Plain
EW's GRADE
D+

Details Release Date: Sep 18, 2009; Rated: R; Length: 111 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Kim Basinger and Charlize Theron; Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Kim Basinger plays a sad married mom in New Mexico who screws around — until her dreams go up in smoke. Charlize Theron plays a sad single woman in Oregon who smokes and screws around. The two ladies are linked, but to find out how, you must wade through The Burning Plain's intentionally disorienting narrative shuffles — the signature storytelling tic of Mexican screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (21 Grams, Babel), here making his unsteady directorial debut. The scenery (prettily captured by There Will Be Blood cinematographer Robert Elswit) is littered with heavy symbolism (fire! rain! dead birds!); the performances are merely heavy. (Also available on cable via on demand) D+

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Originally posted Sep 23, 2009 Published in issue #1068 Oct 02, 2009 Order article reprints