6.8/10
17,859
56 user 127 critic

The Burning Plain (2008)

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2:23 | Trailer
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 | Mexico

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

5 November 2009 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

The Burning Plain 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

Gross USA:

$200,730

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,642,414
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

Sylvia lives in Portland, but works at a restaurant on the ocean - two hours away. 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 WatchMojo: Top 10 Jennifer Lawrence Performances (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Falling Star
Written by Ali Dee (as Ali Theodore), Henry Hey, Alana Da Fonseca (as Alana da Fonseca),
Zach Danziger (as Zach Denziger)
Performed by E. Wilson
Courtesy of DeeTown Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solid debut for writer Arriaga.
12 April 2009 | by come2whereimfromSee all my reviews

The writer Guillermo Arriaga, much famed for his trilogy of films with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, namely Amores Perros, 21 grams and Babel, steps behind the camera and debuts his own directing skills with 'The Burning Plain' a multi-layered affair that at its core tries to explore how we deal with guilt. If you didn't like the style of the afore mentioned films then chances are you wont get on with this either. The story is told in interweaving flashbacks and over different time periods and does require some work on the part of the viewer. But with plot pieces trickled out like a breadcrumb trail right up to the end, a great but subtle score and some breathtaking scenery it grips you as you slowly piece it all together. Added to that there are the two brilliant central performances from Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger, as the damaged mother and daughter and a supporting cast that in their various roles are also superb especially Jennifer Lawrence who rightly won an award at the Venice Film Festival. The cinematography is great and the colours are so warm you can almost feel the Mexican heat coming out of the screen. The direction while not quite as good as Inarritu proves that Arriaga was indeed paying attention and the overall feel is eerily similar. The only downside is that it does leave certain characters stories unfinished but that really is just a minor quibble in what is a very emotionally charged and challenging film.


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