(out of 5)
Following the death of her father, a house cleaner (Jennifer Connelly) 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 (Ben Kingsley) 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 (Ron Eldard) 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 Shohreh Aghdashloo 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.
Directed by Vadim Perelman
Cinematography by Roger Deakins
Music by James Horner
Production Design by Maia Javan
Costume Design by Hala Bahmet
Film Editing by Lisa Zeno Churgin