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House of Sand and Fog (2003)

R  |   |  Drama  |  9 January 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 54,656 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 463 user | 157 critic | 41 from

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



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jaleh Modjallal ...
Matthew Simonian ...
Wedding Guest (as Namrata S. Gurjal-Cooper)
Wedding Guest (as Al Faris)


An emotionally broken woman, Kathy, suddenly finds herself homeless after her house is wrongly repossessed and auctioned. Seeking respite from his marriage, Lester, a sympathetic sheriff's deputy comes to the aid of Kathy and becomes intimately involved in her situation. Soon, Behrani, a proud emigrant Iranian and his family move into the house only to find their new lives burdened by harassment from Lester and Kathy as they attempt to reclaim her former home. The once prosperous colonel denies Kathy's pleas for he knows his recent purchase promises a profitable return and a better future for his adolescent son and his wife. But latent consequences lie beneath Behrani's well intentioned plan as Kathy's emotions spiral out of control and her actions spark a tragic chain of events that will leave no resident unscathed in the House of Sand and Fog. Written by Tiler Faisal

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some dreams can't be shared.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence/disturbing images, language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

9 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Casa de arena y niebla  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$45,572 (USA) (19 December 2003)


$13,005,485 (USA) (26 March 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ben Kingsley was given a copy of the novel "House of Sand and Fog" by author Andre Dubus III's wife, before he was ever approached to star in the movie. See more »


When Lester's wife gets out of her car and starts attacking Lester, she leaves the car door open, and it closes by itself. A few seconds later, the car door is open again. See more »


[first lines]
Officer at End: Are you Kathy Nicolo?
Kathy: Yeah.
Officer at End: Is this your house?
See more »


Featured in Behind the Scenes of 'House of Sand and Fog' (2004) See more »


Written by Varoujan & Iraj Janati-Ataei
Performed by Googoosh
See more »

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User Reviews

A Beautiful Tragedy
14 December 2004 | by (Houston, Texas (US)) – See all my reviews

In a tragedy that only the likes of Sophocles or Shakespeare could recreate, the film House of Sand and Fog proves that some dreams really can't be shared. The American dream is shattered for Colonel Behrani and Kathy Nicolo in this movie of devastating beauty. It is a film about the relentless struggle between an Iranian man and a post-alcoholic over a small house near a Californian beach. When Kathy loses her house due to county error, Behrani buys it for the sake of money and self-pride. Their worlds clash when they realize there is no perfect solution to this mistake, ending with a shockingly tragic twist. The acting put forth in this film was nothing less of amazing. Ben Kinglsey, as always, played his role as if he was really in it, really showing us his point of view and displaying his need for the house. Jennifer Connely played her role beautifully as well, showing the inward spiral she was facing and how her depression finally took her over. The story was nearly flawless with a few money and law errors. However, the tragic themes of the film ring through nonetheless. With a little less than a superior performance from Ron Eldard, the film still had wonderful acting and brilliant film technique. Based on the best-selling novel by Andre Dubus III, director Vadim Perelman does an incredible job of staying true to the novel, and using a few Russian film techniques to give a sense of emotion. This type of film truly will tug at your heart and bring tears, yet will give a sense of appreciation for the human life.

138 of 157 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
100 things you learnt from House of sand and fog nebblu
Behrani's deal makes no sense to me s144700
Miscasting is the real tragedy here barneyljc
after the movie you feel heaviness in the soul ki_to86
AHH! This movie was so great, but the music ruined everything for me!!! vinceejaxeen
One thing that is not in dispute is Kingley's performance taptoe
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