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The Burning Plain (2008)

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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:

Guillermo Arriaga
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlize Theron ... Sylvia
John Corbett ... John
José María Yazpik ... Carlos
Robin Tunney ... Laura
Gray Eubank ... Lawrence
Fernanda Romero ... Sophie
Kacie Thomas ... Vivi
Martin Papazian ... Young Man
Sean McGrath ... Cook
JD Pardo ... Young Santiago
Diego J. Torres ... Cristobal (as Diego Torres)
José Gallardo Jr. José Gallardo Jr. ... Xavier
Rachel Ticotin ... Ana
Rosalia De Aragon Rosalia De Aragon ... Aunt Rebecca (as Rosalia de Aragon)
Debrianna Mansini ... Paula
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Argentina

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

5 November 2009 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Loin de la terre brûlée See more »

Filming Locations:

Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$58,749, 20 September 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$200,399, 20 November 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In this film, JD Pardo and Danny Pino play the same character at different ages. Ten years later in 2018, they star opposite each other in the FX series "Mayans MC". 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 At the Movies: Episode #24.1 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Transcontinental 1:30am
Written by Vienna Teng
Performed by Vienna Teng
Courtesy of Rounder Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

 
.
2 June 2009 | by cassandra_gaiaSee all my reviews

The movie reminded me of Babel, which is not that crazy since Arriaga wrote and directed Babel together with Alejandro González Iñárritu. (I only found this out after I saw The Burning Plain). Whereas I thought Babel was good but not superb, I absolutely loved The Burning Plain. just like Babel, The Burning Plain doesn't do chronology and I love the way Arriaga uses the lack of a chronological time-line to put you on a sidetrack time and time again. Of course I suspected things but I completely missed one of the biggest twists. Past and present are so mixed up that it isn't until quite far into the movie that you realise how all the characters are connected. And in this connection you'll find the big difference between the two movies. Whereas Babel shows the stories of people that are only connected by coincidence, The Burning Plain goes much further than that. When, almost in the end, you find out what really happened you cannot but acknowledge the genius of the person who wrote the story and the stylish way the movie was directed.

Once the 'big twist' is revealed it was like an 'aha-Erlebnis'. From beginning until ending you are wondering about the connections between the characters. "What does Sylvia have to do with Mariana and Santiago, or with Gina and Nick"? When eventually you find out, it is like a puzzle with the last piece falling in place. The result is a beautiful picture with a sad undertone, but not one I would have wanted to miss.


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