Monday, November 3, 2014

House of Sand and Fog (2003)

Director: Vadim Perelman

Writers: Andre Dubus III, Vadim Perelman, Shawn Lawrence Otto

Composer: James Horner

Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard, Frances Fisher, Kim Dickens, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jonathan Ahdout, Navi Rawat, Carlos Gomez, Kia Jam, Jaleh Modjallal

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Some dreams can't be shared.

Plot: An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.


Oh, this is so frustrating.  I REALLY loved the movie up to a point and then it went downhill to the end.  Kathy (Connelly) is in the wrong and we all know it.  Behrani (Kingsly) is completely innocent and he does the right thing all along (until the fucked up ending).  I was engrossed in the story as these two tried to settle their issue all along.  I even liked how Kathy used the racist and not-so-bright cop, Lester (Eldard), to help her.  She was somewhat subtle in doing so since she needed someone for emotional support yet also found he could be useful.  OK, I'd like to think that she used him as a tool in some small way and not just for a fuck buddy to help her get through this. I'm going along with all of this and I'm captured by the compelling story until Esmail (Ahdout) takes Lester's gun on the steps and he's gunned down by the police.  The fuck?  That's about THE dumbest thing a person could do.  I get that emotions were high for everyone involved but I wasn't buying that the kid would have made that ridiculous decision.  Then there's Behrani poisoning his and his wife's tea for a sad death scene.  I get that he thinks they'll be deported to Iran where they will be executed but wouldn't he also be smart enough to think there could be a way out of this?  I might have bought that scene more easily if it hadn't been preceded by the one-two punch of the kid's dumbass move.  Am I missing something that makes all of this more reasonable?  I was digging this flick up to the shooting where is suddenly went into typical Hollywood territory and then it lost me.  It's a shame that with such wonderful performances, score, storytelling and cinematography that it didn't as intelligently as it should have.  But I did dig that the fate of the house was left to our imagination.  At least there's that.  The DreamWorks DVD comes with a commentary, five deleted scenes with optional commentary from the director, a 16 minute behind the scenes featurette, Shohreh Aghdashloo's audition footage, and a photo gallery. 

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