House Of Sand And Fog

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(out of 5)


Following the death of her father, a house cleaner () is evicted from his house when she ignores her mail for too many months and leaves taxes unpaid. It is immediately bought up at a very cheap price by an Iranian immigrant () who plans on selling it at full value in order to use the money to help support his family. When Connelly learns that her house was actually taken from her because of the city’s own error, she does her best to get it back even though the new family have already moved in. A police officer () who has become sexually involved with her decides to step in and help out, going off the deep end and actually terrorizing Kingsley’s family in order to convince them to sell the house back at the price they got it for and let Connelly move back in. This terrific drama features an excellent screenplay and first-rate direction by newcomer Vadim Perelman. The performances are all superb, from the two lead performances as well as a quietly unsettling Eldard and a knockout performance by as Kingsley’s kind and generous wife. The end outcome has a lot to say both about chasing the “American dream” and the reality of racism and attitudes towards foreigners in America.  It pushes the limits of contrivance at times, its message hitting a tad bit too hard, but it is still exceptionally well done, highlighted by fantastic photography by Roger Deakins and a terrific, emotional score by James Horner.


USA, 2003

Directed by

Screenplay by Vadim Perelman, , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Academy Award Nominations
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Ben Kingsley as “Behrani”)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Shohreh Aghdashloo as “Nadi”)
Best Music (Original Score) (James Horner)

Golden Globe Award Nomination
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Ben Kingsley)

New York Film Critics Award
Best Supporting Actress (Shohreh Aghdashloo)

Los Angeles Film Critics Award
Best Supporting Actress (Shohreh Aghdashloo)

National Society of Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Supporting Actress (Shohreh Aghdashloo)

National Board Of Review Awards
Outstanding Directorial Debut (Vadim Perelman)
Top Ten Films

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Ben Kingsley)

Independent Spirit Award
Best Supporting Female (Shohreh Aghdashloo)

Nominations
Best First Feature
Best Male Lead (Ben Kingsley)


BIL’S BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 2003

Vadim Perelman’s House Of Sand And Fog is a grim, depressing story about the immigrant experience in America that sometimes pushes the limits of contrivance with its relentlessly dour plot. What it has in its favor, however, is a set of performances so powerful that one cannot possibly shake the movie off easily. The best of them is the wonderful Shohreh Aghdashloo as the wife of an Iranian colonel who lives in America, is completely removed from the experience of the country and has to suffer the pain of intolerance when her husband’s scheme to have them make a little extra money gets them into a dispute over a house. Her eyes tell you everything when her language cannot, and her performance gives the film its heart.

Honour Roll: Maria Bello, The Cooler; Hope Davis, American Splendour; Emma Thompson, Love Actually; Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain


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