Oh, you can do all the "look at me, I'm a serious actress!" roles you want, Kim Basinger, but you'll always be Vicki Vale to me. Variety is reporting that Basinger is attached to star with Charlize Theron in The Burning Plain. Erik Davis, an officer and a gentleman, told you about the film here. Plain marks the directorial debut of Guillermo Arriaga, the pretty much always excellent screenwriter of Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel, and the criminally under-seen The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Arriaga wrote the screenplay for Plain as well. The film starts shooting early next month in New Mexico.

The film will intertwine two storylines, one of which takes place in the past, the other in the present. The intersection of stories is a trademark of Arriaga's work, though some detractors (I am not one) would claim he uses the device as a crutch. Basinger plays Gina, "the mother of Charlize Theron's character as seen in childhood." Theron plays Sylvia, a woman trying to "find common ground with her parents after a turbulent childhood." The two stories collide. That description doesn't tell us much, but I'm up for anything Arriaga. As for the lead actresses, Basinger has never made much of an impression on me, but Theron is really shaping up to be quite the talent. Her subdued turn in In the Valley of Elah -- one of the best films of the year, even though no one is seeing the thing -- convinced me that Monster was no fluke.