The House Of Sand (2005)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

Original title:  Casa De Areia

Brazil, 2005.  Columbia TriStar Filmes do Brasil, Conspiração Filmes, Globo Filmes, Lereby Productions, Quanta Centro de Produções Cinematográficas, Teleimage.  Story by , , Andrucha Waddington, Screenplay by Elena Soarez.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , Andrucha Waddington.  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

An obsessed man in turn of the century Brazil drags his wife () and aging mother-in-law (Fernanda Montenegro) to the middle of the desert where he builds a house on a sand dune that he has purchased. His workers are scared away by the desolate landscape and nearby community of escaped slaves, then he dies in an accident, leaving the two women in a barely finishome and nothing surrounding them. This multi-generational saga has Torres and Montenegro (who are mother and daughter in life as well as in the film) switch roles as their characters age and reproduce, and both actresses are incredibly effective at conveying their character’s turmoil; however, something about Andrucha Waddington’s direction keeps you from really connecting with them. The images, mostly without dialogue, are ravishing, and the story is definitely interesting even if it isn’t wholly captivating.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2005

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