Writer Guillermo Arriaga and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu made a trio of brilliant films together: Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Babel. Egos grew, comments were made, and after the release of Babel in 2006, the partnership was severed. In 2008, Arriaga went off to direct his first feature working from one his similarly-structured scripts, The Burning Plain, which went largely unseen. This is the first thing Inarritu has directed since the dissolution of their partnership, and it stars Javier Bardem as a blue-collar family man. It looks as truthful and poetic as anything he’s directed to date, but those tonal elements and the trailer’s focus on karmic responsibility appears to be concealing an extra-sensory or supernatural side to the film, which is all the more intriguing.
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