MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 271 this week

The Burning Plain (2008)

6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 12,916 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 53 user | 121 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

A drama with a two-tiered storyline concerning a mother and daughter who try to form a bond after the young woman's difficult childhood.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 13 Dec 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 29 Jan 2013
 
list image
a list of 21 titles
created 25 Feb 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 33 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Burning Plain (2008)

The Burning Plain (2008) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Burning Plain.
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A dramatization of Lori Petty's teenage years spent in small town Iowa.

Director: Lori Petty
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Javon Johnson, Sophi Bairley
Garden Party (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Are you young, sexually confused, just trying to get by? Do you sing, dance or possess some other talent? Welcome to the Garden Party. At the center of the story is 15-year-old April. She ... See full summary »

Director: Jason Freeland
Stars: Erik Smith, Tierra Abbott, Vinessa Shaw
Sleepwalking (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The drama follows a 12-year-old girl's struggle to come to terms with her mother's abandonment.

Director: Bill Maher
Stars: Charlize Theron, Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb
The Beaver (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating.

Director: Jodie Foster
Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

Kathryn Vale (Lena Olin) is a reclusive ex-movie star with a dark secret and a daughter hoping to follow in her mother's movie-star footsteps. When Kathryn attempts to make a career ... See full summary »

Director: James Oakley
Stars: Lena Olin, Rosamund Pike, Dean Winters
Like Crazy (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A British college student falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she's banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa.

Director: Drake Doremus
Stars: Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence
Winter's Bone (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.

Director: Debra Granik
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt
The Bill Engvall Show (TV Series 2007)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A comedy centered on the life and work of therapist Bill Pearson (Engvall).

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Graham Patrick Martin, Skyler Gisondo
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Activists arrive in Seattle, Washington en masse to protest a meeting of the World Trade Organization. Riots and chaos ensue as demonstrators successfully stop the WTO meetings.

Director: Stuart Townsend
Stars: André Benjamin, Jennifer Carpenter, Isaach De Bankolé
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

After moving with her mother to a small town, a teenager finds that an accident happened in the house at the end of the street. Things get more complicated when she befriends a boy who was the only survivor of the accident.

Director: Mark Tonderai
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS is a sweeping romantic drama set in 1930's England, Paris, and Spain. Gilda Bessé shares her Paris apartment with an Irish schoolteacher, Guy Malyon, and Mia, a refugee ... See full summary »

Director: John Duigan
Stars: Charlize Theron, Stuart Townsend, Penélope Cruz
Company Town (TV Movie 2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A look at the lives of government agents who all live in the same Washington D.C. neighborhood.

Director: Thomas Carter
Stars: Sherry Stringfield, Michael Michele, Will Beinbrink
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Young Man
...
Cook
...
...
Cristobal (as Diego Torres)
José Gallardo Jr. ...
Xavier
...
Ana
Rosalia De Aragon ...
Aunt Rebecca (as Rosalia de Aragon)
...
Paula
Edit

Storyline

The Burning Plain follows the story of several different people separated by time and space -- Sylvia, a woman in Oregon who must undertake an emotional odyssey to rid herself of her past; Mariana and Santiago, two teenagers trying to piece together the shattered lives of their parents in a New Mexico border town; Maria, a little girl who goes on a border-crossing voyage to help her parents find redemption, forgiveness, and love; and Gina and Nick, a couple who must deal with an intense and clandestine affair... because they are both married. Written by sundance7490 from Scottsdale, Arizona

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love heals. Love absolves. Love burns.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 November 2009 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Ravnica u plamenu  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$58,749 (USA) (18 September 2009)

Gross:

$200,399 (USA) (20 November 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The title can be translated to Spanish as "El Llano en Llamas", the title of Juan Rulfo's short story collection, one of Mexico's most famous. See more »

Goofs

In the airborne scene of the crop duster dusting the field, the course and actions of the dusting process were inconsistent with real crop dusting. Spraying began at a point well into the field, and no distinct pattern was set such as to avoid missing or re-spraying spots. See more »

Quotes

Sylvia: What grade are you in?
Maria: 9th.
Sylvia: Do you have a boyfriend?
Maria: Nope. Do you?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 5 September 2009 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Las Golondrinas
Written by Ricardo Palmerín & Luis Rosado
Performed by Flaco Jiménez (as Flaco Jimenez)
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Time changes everything
1 May 2009 | by (Scottsdale, Arizona) – See all my reviews

I had recently become a fan of both Guillermo Arriaga and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's work through their previous four films Amores Perros, 21 Grams, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, and Babel (in order of release). In hearing of their creative break-up, it certainly stirred, in my own mind, a possibility of double the good films... or a film-making battle accomplishing nothing. "The Burning Plain" by Guillermo Arriaga is the first of these fruits. Good or bad? You decide. I think good... but missing something.

The Burning Plain follows the story of several different people separated by time and space -- Sylvia, a woman in Oregon who must undertake an emotional odyssey to rid herself of her past; Mariana and Santiago, two teenagers trying to piece together the shattered lives of their parents in a New Mexico border town; Maria, a little girl who goes on a border-crossing voyage to help her parents find redemption, forgiveness, and love; and Gina and Nick, a couple who must deal with an intense and clandestine affair... because they are both married.

Charlize Theron leads the ensemble cast. Theron, I have previously seen in a consortium of roles from Sleepwalking and Monster to The Italian Job. I am glad to say she brings a much more subtle feeling to Sylvia, the central character in the film, without going over the top. The sides we see from the past and present also reflect Sylvia's personality; a side of professionalism brought in by a new skin in the present while her not-forgotten past hiding deep within but brought out by her sexual trysts and self-mutilation.

Also leading the present side of the story is newcomer Tessa Ia in a challenging role she takes at face value despite her young age. With Mexican actor Jose Maria Yazpik in a gentle role, along with Theron, the three are arguably the best actors in the film. Ia's performances hails true talent and not nearly enough credit. With a fierce look in the eyes of a child trying to obtain forgiveness in her own soul, Ia is an actress mature beyond her years. The present stories take on these subtleties that audiences will figure out after the film has ended. This is where the second half (figuratively speaking) of the film suffers.

Focused too much of what is going on in a certain time in the past, the characters of Gina and Nick suffer due to a lack of development. We know of their affair, we know what is going on and we are given too much of that without enough understanding of who they are on their own. Kim Basinger does her best in the role but ultimately is too flat with her delivery. Gina is a sympathetic character because of the screenplay and where the writing takes her, not because of Basinger's performance. Joaquim de Almeida's Nick is more interesting despite a lack of screen time, also due to the lack of development.

The story of Mariana and Santiago is much better because it escapes from this problem and we are given a beginning, middle and end to their story (per se). JD Pardo gives a nice understanding to Santiago and allows for a much better look at the character as an adult when you finally realize who it is (I will not give anything away). However, Jennifer Lawrence as Mariana is probably my most disliked actor of the group. Despite winning the best newcomer award at the Venice Film Festival, her delivery is monotone and lacks any sort of true feeling for what has happened. This also counts for in between two sections of her life... but a nice reaction to a certain event ultimately saved her entire performance.

The film has amazing undertones that audiences won't figure out until later. There are several different themes played on such as the theme of love which is included not only through relationships, though this is the main ingredient, but from children to parents, siblings, and great friendships. The latter is what genuinely seals this aspect of the film as Jose Maria Yazpik and Robin Tunney's characters bring their perspective leads to a connection. Another underlying theme was that of scars. Whether through self-mutilation or a past surgery, Sylvia, Santiago, Mariana, Maria, and Gina all end up with (literal) scars by the end of the film that they cannot forget about eluding to the main theme of the film that the past effects the present.

I was hoping that it wouldn't be just a carbon copy of what Inarritu has done before (in an attempt to win an audience). I felt the same way about Three Burials which is why I have rated it with only 8. This is going to be the first major problem for Arriaga on his own creative path. While unfortunate, it is inevitable: audiences will go in expecting the same intense fair Innaritu has been giving them and will see a more tame version of that. Luckily, the wonderful production values and gorgeous cinematography by veteran Robert Elswit and John Toll, tacked on with a beautiful soundtrack, ultimately send the story flying.

With a number of events occurring through the story, you are never left bored. Piecing together the puzzle isn't really as difficult as it may seem. For Babel it was all about figuring out which story was in what time period. In The Burning Plain it's about who is who and how time has taken it's toll on the characters, which makes it much more interesting in a more creative way. This is where direction suffers as it is obvious Guillermo Arriaga was more focused on the story than he was his actors, but it all falls together without disrupting anything. Hopefully the creative split will allow audiences to realize there is a large difference between directors and Arriaga and Innaritu are no exception.


25 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
puzzled by critics reviews camphiho-1
What does the title mean? Truman_Burbank
Amazing Movie!!!!! moviefan1901
Oscar... Filus76
Burning Plain K Mart footage destroyed nmsu_southpaw
Cinematographers: John Toll AND Robert Elswit? janingar
Discuss The Burning Plain (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?