Plot Details Emerge For Terrence Malick's 'The Burial'

by Kevin Jagernauth
December 2, 2010 4:13 AM
6 Comments
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This is a story we hemmed and hawed on doing mostly because it seems like a sucker punch to gut the details on Terrence Malick's next film, "The Burial." And while the info is now making the rounds, for all the extensive plotting revealed, Malick has never been one to stick directly to a script, and the weightier thematic issues and the tone and tenor of the finished work often emerges throughout the editing process. So for everything that is mentioned here, how the final product is shaped probably isn't best described by simple plot beats. But needless to say, if you don't want to know anything about the film stop reading here. Seriously.

Anyhow, The Wrap got their hands on the call sheets for the film that stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem and Barry Pepper, that reveals character names as well as plot details that they've used to piece together a very crude synopsis. Perhaps more amusingly, The Wrap determines that based on this info Malick's new film "doesn't seem particularly exciting" and they also use the opportunity to slag Rachel Weisz with some dubious gossip mongering among other claims better-suited to TMZ.

Anyhow, the curious can jump below to see what's in store "The Burial." No word on when this will arrive but its not likely to hit theaters until 2012 at the earliest.

Set over a period of years, the film stars Affleck as Neil, a failed writer stuck in a loveless marriage with Marina (Kurylenko), whose expiring visa put pressure on Neil to propose. Neil and Marina have a daughter (Tatiana Chilin) together, but both of them are looking outside the marriage. Neil is drawn to Jane (McAdams) and Marina betrays her husband by having an affair with Charlie (Charles Baker).

Both Neil and Marina seek guidance from Father Quintana (Bardem), a priest frustrated by his inability to live his own life because he's too busy advising his parishioners on theirs. The couple's dysfunctional relationship begins to take a toll on their daughter, who starts having problems in school.

Neil is investigating a treatment plant that may be distributing contaminated water. He's also still in love with a woman from his past and doesn't have the courage to let her go, imagining her as a blindfolded ghost throughout the film.

After Marina dents her car and burns dinner, she and Neil have a fight and discuss splitting up. Marina feels like she and Neil are brother and sister and Neil admits that he feels burdened by her. After Neil storms out, his daughter begins talking in her sleep.

Charlie takes an interest in Marina and begins to seduce her by giving her a wind harp.

After cheating on Neil, she admits her affair to him, while Neil confesses to Father Quintana that he thought he could marry without love. The duo talk about marriage, miracles and despair, and Father Quintana advises him not to get divorced. The two of them debate the subject, prompting Neil to break down and later decide to clear his head by going fishing.

Neil and Jane share a kiss, which Jane doesn't feel bad about because she knows Neil doesn't love his wife. She plans to wait for Neil to get tired of Marina.

After Marina gets fired from her job, she runs into Father Quintana and the duo share several other chance encounters. She expresses the desire to do charity work and winds up volunteering at a soup kitchen.

Rachel Weisz plays Dinah, Neil's friend who can't bear to see Neil hurting himself.

Romina Mondello plays Anna, who is married but has a boyfriend. She and her husband have a fight and she breaks up with him. She urges Marina to do the same but Marina decides to take a trip to Europe.

When Marina returns, Dinah advises Jane to let Neil go now that his wife is back. Jane resigns to marry another suitor named Bradley, while Dinah is surprised to learn that her brother has now fallen in love with Marina, who at one point, learns she might need a hysterectomy.

Though Father Quintana constantly makes the time to listen to his parishioners' problems, he is repaid by having his car broken into and his air conditioner stolen. He begins giving communion at bars, but it's not long before he draws the ire of the local bishop and is sent to Kansas.

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More: Films, Terrence Malick, The Burial

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6 Comments

  • roddymartindale | December 6, 2010 3:53 AMReply

    @ Oliver Lyttleton

    And you don't find wind harps sexy because...?

  • Paul | December 3, 2010 9:01 AMReply

    The "plot" is very cliche and a bit soap opera-y. BUT this is Malick so last thing I expect the film to be is this straight forward and traditional.

    Should make for an interesting experience. Now put the damn TREE OF LIFE online Fox!

  • BradZuhl | December 2, 2010 7:30 AMReply

    In Malick's hands this is going to be something completely different than what is described.

  • Alex | December 2, 2010 6:02 AMReply

    it's very TMZ like. That part of the report is just so friggin' weird. I suppose they are pretty gossipy with all the Robert Sanchez stuff which i hear they're gonna be sued for.

  • Kyle | December 2, 2010 5:59 AMReply

    What I find funny about the article from the wrap is how inconsistant it is with it's facts. The rumor mongering about Rachel Weisz seem shady, especially when there is no such thing as $100 protein bars and the facts about the film seems flimsy at best, like someone just made it up.

  • Oliver Lyttelton | December 2, 2010 5:02 AMReply

    I still can't get over the unintentional hilarity of the line at the end of the first page: "Charlie takes an interest in Marina and begins to seduce her by giving her a wind harp."

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