House of Sand and Fog

Not rated yet!
Director
Vadim Perelman
Runtime
2 h 06 min
Release Date
19 December 2003
Genres
Drama
Overview
Behrani, an Iranian immigrant buys a California bungalow, thinking he can fix it up, sell it again, and make enough money to send his son to college. However, the house is the legal property of former drug addict Kathy. After losing the house in an unfair legal dispute with the county, she is left with nowhere to go. Wanting her house back, she hires a lawyer and befriends a police officer. Neither Kathy nor Behrani have broken the law, so they find themselves involved in a difficult moral dilemma.
Staff ReviewsAround the Web ReviewsAudience Reviews

Check back soon when the reviews are out!

Or why not join our mailing list to stay up to date?

 

SIGN UP!

Box office recaps sent twice a month (maximum).

( ̄^ ̄)ゞ (☞゚ヮ゚)☞ No spam! ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)




 ✍🏻  > 🗡️   Want to join our team? Email us!  
VJ Morton3
Right Wing Film Geek



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • Oscar-bait season, part 2

    Oscar-bait season, part 2

    THE HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG — Vadim Perelman, USA, 2003, 8

    Four Decembers ago, I walked without especially high expectations into THE END OF THE AFFAIR, a bit of Oscar-bait that was respectfully reviewed but was a box-office bust and did poorly at year-end awards. It’s now half-forgotten, I’d say, but I will take to my grave that experience of one of the best films of recent years, a film that had me in tears for the whole second half, which I’ve now seen about 12 times, and to which I responded as personally as if Neil Jordan had made it for me, and me alone.

    THE HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG is that same kind of movie — a stately, inevitable march through characters, neither good nor evil, but trapped by coincidence and circumstance until it spins into a fog-bound tragedy. HOUSE has a real novelistic quality — and I mean that as a compliment — like a Victorian gothic set in the present-day about the claims of two families on a house overlooking the sea.

    Jennifer Connelly inherited the house from her father, but the county has repossessed it for delinquent taxes — a point she disputes. But while her appeal is pending, the house is purchased by Ben Kingsley, an Iranian Air Force colonel under the Shah. His assets and family’s ability to keep up appearances are dwindling and he buys the home at repossession prices as an investment. There is a sequence early when Kingsley is shown working two menial jobs in rags, changes into gentlemen’s clothes for home, and curtly tells off a swanky-hotel worker who questions him because of his appearance. This is the opposite of the general American custom (dress up at work and down at home) and is one of many ways Kingsley, in a brilliant performance, creates a man from an honor-based culture without making him a petty tyrant.

    And that’s part of the other truly special feature of this film — that it caricatures nobody, despite ample “culture-clash” opportunity. I saw Jean Renoir’s masterpiece THE RULES OF THE GAME on TV again recently with its most famous line “That’s the truly horrible thing; that everybody has his reasons” — and HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG is a film entirely in that spirit. The film has no heroes or villains, and lets the conflict play itself out, and not in ways you can necessarily predict.

    One of the great pleasures of this film is that, even though you know unspecifically that it ends tragically (think the flashback structure of SUNSET BOULEVARD), it is one of the increasingly-rare films where the first 10 minutes basically doesn’t set up everything else that happens. There. Is. A. Plot. To. Follow. Huzzah!!!!

    And yet … still … it wasn’t made for me, and me alone. The oooomph I got for END OF THE AFFAIR was missing (and both films use a similar strategy of repeated scenes; once before you know everything and once after). I didn’t have the same personal connection to the material. Oh, I understand in the abstract the emotions HOUSE wants to tweak all right and this is unquestionably a very strong film. In fact, I’m sure there’s somebody out there, someone whose life story it tells and who will react to HOUSE as I did to AFFAIR. This film is for him, and him alone. But he’s not me.

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    January 26, 2004 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

    1 Comment »

    1. […] OF SAND AND FOG (Vadim Perelman, USA) – I’ve written a little about this film already. Misses the Top 10 for reasons stated there — I just never quite fell […]

      Pingback by 2003 TOP 10 — Honorable Mentions « Rightwing Film Geek | January 10, 2008 | Reply


    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Love and hate about the Oscar nominations
    (”House of Sand and Fog” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Love and hate about the Oscar nominations

    Having trouble with my phone line at home (cursed ice storm), so I couldn’t write up my reaction to the Oscar nominations until now (the complete list is here.)

    Good surprises:
    The year’s best film IMNHO was CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS, which was unfortunately was a documentary and therefore in years past its quality and critical popularity would have guaranteed that it would not get a nomination as Best Documentary. But not this year. Not only was FRIEDMANS nominated, but the other candidate for the year’s most widely-praised documentary, THE FOG OF WAR, was picked too. Though I’ve expressed my doubts and crushed high expectations about FOG, it’s also good that finally the Academy acknowledges the existence of the country’s most important documentarian — Errol Morris. And all three of the others were films that I have heard of, that played in theaters, and that was generally well-liked by the few critics who saw them. The documentary branch for years had a nearly perfect record of ignoring the one film that year that *had* to be on the list — Morris’ own THE THIN BLUE LINE, ROGER & ME, CRUMB, HOOP DREAMS, HEARTS OF DARKNESS. But this year and last, they seem to have gotten their heads screwed on straight. Last year, four of the five nominees were BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, WINGED MIGRATION, SPELLBOUND and DAUGHTER FROM DANANG — all films that, regardless of my varied particular opinions of them, were strong enough *as films* to get substantial critical praise and to win (with the exception of DANANG) a very broad and hugely popular commercial release by documentary standards.

    Some major nominations going to foreign films. THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE scored a nomination for best animated feature nomination and one for best song. And then there was all the love for CITY OF GOD — four nominations, including two major ones (script and director). I’m under no illusions that either is likely to win anything — for a foreign film, it is really true that the honor is just being nominated (some exceptions duly noted, including last year’s script win for Almodovar’s excellent TALK TO HER). According to the Associated Press, when director Fernando Meirelles heard of the nominations, he asked “Has the Academy gone mad?” No, Fernando: you just did good. I’ll have more to say here about this great film, which will be out on home video in a couple of weeks, when I do my Top 10 essay this weekend.

    The near-shutout suffered by COLD MOUNTAIN in the major categories — film, actress, director, script (yes … adapted script). I don’t begrudge Renee her nomination (and likely win), but what exactly was distinguished about Jude Law? Have I mentioned that I don’t care for this fantasy for the art-house audience? One Southerner of my acquaintance high-fived me, and told me that when he had heard of the film’s Oscar flop, he was dancing on the toilet bowl.

    Finally, a Best Actor nomination for Bill Murray, and he might even win, though my money would be on Sean Penn (insert this rant from yesterday about the Academy giving short shrift to comedy and comic actors).

    While I’m not crazy about most of the particular choices, it is good to note that the Academy actually acknowledged that films get released in the first 11 months of the year. Last year, all five nominees were released Dec. 18 or later. This year: LORD OF THE RINGS 3 on Dec. 17; MASTER AND COMMANDER on Nov. 14; MYSTIC RIVER on Oct. 8; LOST IN TRANSLATION on Sept. 12 and SEABISCUIT on July 25. Perhaps the shortened awards season this year (and the screener ban) made the end-of-year booking strategy not viable. Or maybe the voters just didn’t care for MONSTER, HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG, 21 GRAMS, THE COMPANY, COLD MOUNTAIN, IN AMERICA, BIG FISH, GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING and CALENDAR GIRLS.

    Bad surprises:
    The absolute shutout suffered by THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS. That’s not so much a surprise, I guess, as a disappointment about what I think was the best American fiction film of last year. I well realized it wasn’t gonna be a major player, since it was released in August and did poorly at the box office. But it still hurts that there was no room at the inn for its script and that Campbell Scott has nothing to show for the two of the best performances by an American male of recent years (this one and ROGER DODGER — so amazing because the characters in question are nothing like one another). Grrr … oh well: DENTISTS came out on home video last week and I heartily recommend it as one of the most realistic and dry-eyedly romantic depictions of family life I’ve ever seen.

    The nomination of Tim Robbins and his collection of gestures masquerading as a performance in MYSTIC RIVER for anything other than a Razzie. Have I mentioned here before that I *hate* that performance. I suppose I can see the logic … that’s Acting. In fact I’ve never so *much* Acting in a noncomic performance in my life. You see every twitch and halt, and all the blood, sweat and tears that went into this, The Ultimate Performance. It’s discouraging that even professional actors are again mistaking playing a handicap (or someone of the opposite sex, who ages 100 years, etc.) as acting.

    No Scarlett Johansson. She gives two of the year’s best lead female performances — in LOST IN TRANSLATION and GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING — and gets shut out. And not because neither film was up the Academy’s alley — LOST was one of the big winners and PEARL was a December prestige release that did get several (very deserved) nods in the technical categories. Maybe the two performances canceled each other out. Or maybe the Academy just prefers telegraphed collections of body-language tics to using your eyes and face and just *existing* on camera.

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    January 29, 2004 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

    No comments yet.

    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2003 TOP 10 — Honorable Mentions
    (”House of Sand and Fog” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    2003 TOP 10 — Honorable Mentions

    These were the films that just missed my Top 10 for 2003.

    GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING (Peter Webber, Britain) — It’s hard to say what’s most drop-dead gorgeous thing in this movie, Eduardo Serra’s cinematography, Ben Van Os and Cecile Heideman’s art direction or Scarlett Johansson’s face. All three superbly-controlled surfaces seem to do nothing, yet inspire by their mere calm existence. And they evoke and create a world with no artificial light, no mass-produced goods and a servility that can see beyond herself. Misses the Top 10 because Colin Firth as Vermeer gives the weakest performance of his career (oh … to transplant Michel Piccoli from LA BELLE NOISEUSE) and the film doesn’t offer much more than those three swoonable objects. Actually, that’s not quite true, Tom Wilkinson and Judy Parffitt are pretty good as the randy benefactor and the domineering mother-in-law, but they’re roles any middle-aged British character actor could do in his sleep.

    HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG (Vadim Perelman, USA) — I’ve written a little about this film already. Misses the Top 10 for reasons stated there — I just never quite fell in love with it.

    DOWN WITH LOVE (Peyton Reed, USA) — This overthetop, overacted, overdecorated, overcostumed, and oversplitscreened homage/re-creation on the Doris Day/Rock Hudson comedies was the year’s tastiest bon-bon — with pastels that a Castro Street interior decorator would have found excessive. Last year’s Sirk-homage FAR FROM HEAVEN unintentionally showed how difficult it is for a re-creation to keep a straight face under all that artifice. But in an exaggerated comedy, unlike a weepie, such periodisms and incongruities contribute to the fun. I saw DOWN WITH LOVE a couple of days after watching PILLOW TALK, and it helps to have one of those films fresh in your mind. Misses the Top 10 because the last 20 minutes of the movie (roughly, after Renee Zellweger … um … gives a monolog) just isn’t very good or inspired; they’re tying up plot threads. But stay through the closing credits (or best of all, look at the DVD extras) to see Renee and Ewan MacGregor sing “Here’s to Love,” the best scene in the movie and one of the year’s best. Oh. And memo to the Academy: *This* was Renee’s best performance last year (insert grumble about Oscar ignoring comedies.)

    PHONE BOOTH (Joel Schumacher, USA) — Nearly every thriller will hype itself with the word “Hitchcockian,” causing film geeks to roll their eyes, but this is one that understands the details of The Master’s style. You can actually be familiar with ouevre and imagine Hitch making PHONE BOOTH. Naturalistically and logically, it doesn’t makes much sense, but I’m not certain it’s really supposed to, like NORTH BY NORTHWEST. The reliance on the villain having supernatural knowledge, the fact that it takes place in a “booth” and the voice on the phone demanding an admission of wrongdoing tells me there’s something else going on here, something that Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer were the first to note about Hitch. Works also as a showcase for director Schumacher (yes, really), who somehow manages to keep the basically one-set film visually alive under very constrained circumstances, like in REAR WINDOW or ROPE. Colin Farrell has an easy, meaty role to play, and though he isn’t exactly great, he’s like Patriots QB Tom Brady — doesn’t have the glowing stats but wins the game mostly by not messing up or fumbling the film away. Actors are cattle, etc. Misses the Top 10 because … well, Hitchcock would have made it better.

    DRACULA: PAGES FROM A VIRGIN’S DIARY (Guy Maddin, Canada) — I’ve written a little about this film already. Misses the Top 10 because, fun though it was, I found my admiration a bit more distant than I prefer.

    SWEET SIXTEEN (Ken Loach, Britain) — When leftist director Loach hasn’t got politics on (the foreground of) his mind and makes kitchen-sink portraits of working-class urban Britons, he is quite a filmmaker, particularly as a director of actors. He gets a great central performance here from the nonprofessional Martin Compston in the role of Liam, a (smart and tough) juvenile delinquent approaching adulthood — naturalistic, funny, exuberant, defiant, and determined (in both senses). Maybe it takes a Scot to appreciate the exchange: “We’re just trying to keep your customers satisfied,” “You’re a right wee Simon and Garfunkel, you” “well, here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson” (looking at it on my computer screen, I see that it just doesn’t *read* funny. Spoken in Glaswegian patter, it’s hilarious. Trust me.) Misses the Top 10 because the film stacks things too much in Liam’s moral favor. Theo first made this point to me at Toronto, but I became convinced on second viewing during (being purposely vague to avoid spoilers) a stabbing scene — which isn’t really a stabbing scene. Between this and MY NAME IS JOE, Loach should make more films about Glasgow and fewer about Chile.

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    February 6, 2004 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

    1 Comment »

    1. […] Victor Morton notes that the killer’s demands begin to turn the phone booth into a very different kind of booth, where high moral drama plays out: the confessional. There are hints of Saw here maybe, avant la lettre, and hints of reality TV, where people abase themselves in public to gain fame, money, or some chance at redemption. There’s a sleazy masochism, which I loved obviously, in which you get the sense that this publicist longed for exposure as much as he feared it. Getting caught can be a relief. It makes public the shame one already felt so intensely behind the silencing wall of the face. […]

      Pingback by The Sleazy Moral Greatness of “Phone Booth” | March 12, 2014 | Reply


    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)

PJ Media Staff2
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Stoning of Soraya M.: An Unflinching Look at the Unconscionable
    (”House of Sand and Fog” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    PJ Media The pivotal scene in director Cyrus Nowrasteh's new film unfolds slowly, letting the audience absorb every soul-crushing second.First, a hole is dug in the ground. Then, the accused adulterer is lowered into the empty space and workers bury her up to her waist in dirt.Then, the woman's neighbors, young and old -- as well as her immediate family -- start collecting stones to throw at her until she dies.The Stoning of Soraya M. is unlike any film we've seen before. It's an unflinching glimpse at the very worst side of Iranian culture, an indictment of a barbaric ritual defended and embraced by an entire village.And it's based on a real-life incident.Nowrasteh, best known for writing the ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11, gives away the story in the film's title. That he keeps the audience engaged up until the final scene is a testament to his measured approach.In clumsier hands, like Oliver Stone circa 2009, Soraya M. would have played out with thunder, brimstone, and more than a few overt political messages.Nowrasteh -- who also co-wrote the film with his wife, screenwriter Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh -- tackles the material in a straightforward fashion. The only razzle dazzle on display is the powerhouse performance by House of Sand and Fog actress Shohreh Aghdashloo as the doomed woman's confidante.Aghdashloo plays Zahra, an Iranian woman who corners a journalist (Jim Caviezel) when his car breaks down in her dusty village. She insists he listen to the story she must tell an outsider. Their discussion serves as the film's perfunctory framing device.Soraya (Mozhan Marnò) is married to Ali (Navid Negahban), a cruel partner with a wandering eye. Local customs won't allow him to follow said eye, so he conjures up an adultery charge against Soraya in the hopes the scandal will set him free. The male dominated legal system -- aided and abetted by Sharia law, which demands a public execution of the guilty -- does the rest. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/the-stoning-of-soraya-m-an-unflinching-look-at-the-unconscionable/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith1
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Lighten up, Leo
    (”House of Sand and Fog” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s recent performances have turned even his detractors into begrudging admirers. His baby-faced features continue to recede, leaving behind a string of strong turns for some of today’s most in-demand directors – Sam Mendes, Martin Scorsese and now Christopher Nolan with “Inception.” You’re good, Leo. We get it. But there’s one thing I’d love to see out of a DiCaprio performance – a smile, a giggle or even a guffaw. The actor’s recent work has been so dark and traumatic he’s threatening to become a one-trick pony. It’s a good trick, mind you, but who wouldn’t like to see him take on a comic supporting role or even the lead in a genuinely witty rom-com (if such a creature still exists)? You have to go back to the 2002 film “Catch Me If You Can” to find a DiCaprio movie with a healthy sense of humor. The same holds true for Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly. The brunette stunner should seek out a frothy script – stat – before her scowl becomes permanently etched in our minds. She grimaced her way through “A Beautiful  Mind,” “Hulk,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “The House of Sand and Fog.” I remember seeing the poster for the ensemble rom-com “He’s Just Not That Into You” and wondering why Connelly was the only actress in the cast not smiling? It’s easy to see why actors like DiCaprio and Connelly seek out darker material. But audiences want to see movie stars enjoying themselves on screen, too.]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kelly Jane Torrance1
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • BEYOND: A knight's many tales
    (”House of Sand and Fog” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Sir Ben Kingsley is one of the most versatile of actors. His range is simply astonishing. Published August 22, 2008

    ...
    (Review Source)

Want even more consensus?

Skip Rotten Tomatoes, they’re biased SJWs too afraid to criticize things like the Ghost Busters reboot. Avoid giving them ad revenue by using the minimalist alternative, Cinesift, for a quick aggregate:

 🗣️ Know of another conservative review that we’re missing?
Leave a link in the comments below or email us!  

What’d you think? Let us know with a video:

Record a webcam review!

Or anonymous text review:

Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 0 reviews
Overall Hollywood Bs Average rating:  
 
Anti-patriotism Average rating:  
 
Misandry Average rating:  
 
Affirmative action Average rating:  
 
LGBTQ rstuvwxyz Average rating:  
 
Anti-God Average rating:  
 

Buy on Amazon:
⚠️  Comment freely, but please respect our young users.
👍🏻 Non PC comments/memes/vids/links 
👎🏻  Curse words / NSFW media / JQ stuff
👌🏻 Visit our 18+  free speech forum to avoid censorship.
⚠️ Keep your kids’ websurfing safe! Read this.

Share this page:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail