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Tom is a man behaving badly. Restless and impatient, he's involved with an unfeasible number of women and doing his best to drive the clientele away from the Bondi restaurant where he’s the principal chef. Karen plays the traditional long-suffering role of the ex-wife, always on Tom's case to face up to his responsibilities to his eight year old son, Oscar. They both know Oscar would be better off living with her but Tom is determined to keep him, even though he’s moved them out of their beautiful house into a dismal motel. Whatever Tom is up to, his actions seem to be tolerated by those around him. But everything comes to a head as he prepares a party for his son in a beachside park. His anger erupts and Karen finds herself retrieving Oscar from the police station where Tom is being detained. Not much of a birthday. As Tom descends into darkness, fragments of a different story begin to emerge. A chance encounter with an old friend is the trigger for an explanation for his state of mind. He wasn’t always like this. One blissful day ten years ago he met Sarah. She was perfect. Beautiful and sexy, but so much more as well. He was on the brink of success and she inspired him; blessed him and the food he cooked. Made him everything he was and gave him his wonderful son. What happened is hard for Tom to face. All the women in his world are trying in their own, very different, ways to help put him back together. If grief is the price we pay for love, perhaps they – and Oscar - can show Tom it's better to have experienced both than neither.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 23
- Fresh: 17
- Rotten: 6
- Average Rating: 7.6/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Foodies looking for a good cry, bon appetit.
Fresh: The extremity of the film's slice-and-dice approach is invigorating at the outset but may also prompt viewers to suspect they're being challenged for no good reason.
Fresh: Burning Man leans heavily on a scrambled chronology, and likewise feels tonally mixed up, but it certainly does keep you guessing.
Rotten: It's an interesting but failed experiment.
More sad and angry than funny.
Watch this movie if you are interested in food and behind-the-scenes drama of running a restaurant, or if you're interested in unique film making. But if it's a sad and disturbing story you are interested in, read the lengthy synopsis provided for free. In fact you will have to if you do not pay very close attention to the often mundane and always irrationally layered scenes. The cover picture says it all...this film is so fragmented it requires real effort to put the story together and, in my opinion, it's not worth it.
I thought this movie was poignant,funny, and well written. I was very moved by this movie after my mother died of cancer-really rang true.
Fantanstic Aussie Film...
This is an absolutely fantastic Aussie film. With exquisite cinematography and editing, Burning Man is a stunning, interesting and frantic look into the journey of grief and loss.