February 27, 2004
House of Sand and Fog

When I went to see Gloomy Sunday (see previous entry), after the film John Paul pointed out that it was a double feature, something I'd forgotten about the theater. The second film was House of Sand and Fog. I'd been sort of wanting to see it. It's set in the Bay Area. It has Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connely, both of whom I like. And it was up for 2 Oscars, for Ben and for Shohreh Aghdashloo who play the Iranian couple in the film. So I suggested we stay, though we were both tired. We were glad we did.

The basic story is Jennifer owns a house near the ocean, inherited by her father. Due to some sort of clerical error, she's charged with non-payment of business taxes and they evict her from her house and put it up for auction. Ben buys the house for his family as an investment, planning to fix it up and sell it for a tidy profit. Meanwhile, Jennifer is working with a lawyer to try to get her house back and starting on an affair with one of the married police officers who helped her move out of her house. Jennifer's life spirals downhill as she's forced to sleep in her car, repeatedly goes to her house to demand it back, and helps to tear apart one man's marriage as well as a stranger's family.

This is a pretty good film. It's nicely filmed, aside from the director's tendency to linger on Jennifer's bare legs. The acting is very, very good. Ben is impressive as ever. The interactions between Jennifer and him and his wife are wonderful and powerful. I just had a few criticisms. The music, as John Paul pointed out, was overly dramatic. The story is almost oppressively depressing. And there's a lack of chemistry between Jennifer and her married lover, not to mention a certain lack of something in the story to make you really understand why they want to be together. Jennifer had a lot more chemistry with Ben and they weren't supposed to. Overall a good film with some minor flaws.

Posted by Alyssa at February 27, 2004 10:01 PM

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Posted by: Maryanna on November 7, 2004 05:26 PM
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