Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Burning Plain

The Burning Plain appeared in 2008 and promptly disappeared, but you can catch it on DVD. The movie stars Charlize Theron as a very accomplished restaurant manager, but whose personal life seems aimless. Parallel storylines concern a teenage girl and her difficulties with her mother when the latter isn't spending a lot of time lately with the family, and a young pre-teen girl who accompanies her father when he gets a job in Mexico as a cropduster.

This is a story of regret, of loss, of redemption. There are no car crashes in The Burning Plain. There's not even a lot of action. Most of what happens, the action, per se, is in these actors' faces. Interesting storyline, an intertwining of all these storylines, and excellent acting jobs from the entire cast.

Theron is marvelous, minimal movement in a difficult part. Kim Basinger has found a role that suits her aging face, and she's wonderful, magnetic. It's great to see Robin Tunney, so marvelous in The Mentalist as we see her finally hit her stride given the chance, and John Corbett, as Theron's character's friend in the restaurant who doesn't understand why she has to self-destruct. The Hispanic actors, however, are the ones who shine here, particularly Jose Maria Yazpik as Carlos.

The acting is what drives this drama. I recommend it.

Thumb's up.


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