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Review: The Burning Plain

Why have burning plain when you can have burning fancy?
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 15, 2009


VIDEO: The trailer for The Burning Plain

Why have burning plain when you can have burning fancy? As in his screenplays for estranged colleague Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, 21 Grams), Guillermo Arriaga has in his directorial debut addled a contrived and trite story with a contrived narrative structure, the theory being that viewers will be so impressed they figured it out that they'll believe it's a work of art. A teenage girl gets tough when she discovers that her mother (Kim Basinger) is having an affair with a Hispanic neighbor. Years later, she (Charlize Theron) must come to grips with the past and her feelings for the adulterous man's son. Arriaga starts the story in the middle and moves sideways, so it may take you a while to realize it's bogus. The only art here is the opening image, striking and simple, unlike what follows.

SOMERVILLE THEATRE: APRIL 25 at 5 PM

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