7.6/10
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House of Sand and Fog (2003)

R | | Drama | 9 January 2004 (USA)
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An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some dreams can't be shared.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

9 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Casa de arena y niebla  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$13,005,485 (USA) (26 March 2004)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kathy is evicted from her house when she is charged for unpaid business taxes. Throughout the film, she is bent on believing the repossessing and the auctioning were mistakes from the county; she couldn't owe them a tax from something she never had. She also states that she inherited the house from her father, along with a brother. Later on, when Kathy asks on the phone for her brother to come over, he says something about his company's products, implying he owns a business. That destroys the argument of a wrongful eviction. See more »

Goofs

When Behrani and Esmail are talking in Esmail's bedroom, the pillow shifts position from horizontally behind the lower lumbar part of Esmail's back, to standing vertically up to Esmail's shoulders, then back to the original horizontal position behind his back. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Ring Two (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Laylee
Written, Produced & Arranged by Elton Ahi
Lyrics by Hedieh
Performed by Andy featuring Shani
See more »

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User Reviews

Incredible Comment On Cultural Gap In America
25 December 2003 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

First of all, anyone who says that s/he didn't "get the point of this movie" needs to go back to watching movies produced solely by Jerry Brukheimer because the point could not be more apparent to anyone of any intelligence. House of Sand and Fog is a commentary on the cultural gap between American-born citizens and immigrants from war-ridden countries such as Iran. Unfortunately that gap is shown for what it is: wider than ever.

The character of Kathy is portrayed brilliantly by Jennifer Connelly as an emotionally unstable young woman caught up in the turmoil of losing both her husband and her family's home within eight months of each other. Kathy ignorantly fails to realize that the house her dead father has left her brother and her is in jeopardy of being put up for auction due to unpaid taxes. Kathy comprehends, too late, that the thirty years it took her father to pay off their home has been in vain when it is sold to an Iranian family shortly after auction. Her character is pinned against Ben Kingsley's Colonel Behrani when Behrani buys Kathy's auctioned house in order to return his own family to a sense of stability. The audience is conflicted by its empathy for both character's need to satisfy his and her own pride in family and the preservation of his and her heritage.

The catalyst for the two characters' conflict with each other is drawn from the supporting character of Officer Lester (Ron Eldard), a representation of the ignorance and lack of empathy some Americans feel towards people whose lives have led them to seek better ones in the United States. While Behrani's main motive is to protect his family and give it a sense of security, Lester puts his own selfish pleasures before the wellbeing of his own family. Behrani and Lester are complete opposites, Behrani clearly the nobler. It is clear why Kingsley chose to do this role: Kingsley's portrayal of an Iranian refugee is both superb and honest, not to mention Oscar-worthy. The film shows that there are greater sacrifices in this world than those materialistic in nature. Ironically many Americans might find that point hard to absorb, probably the reason why they are so quick to write off House of Sand and Fog as "one of the worst movies" they have ever seen. House of Sand and Fog is a film, not a movie. Those who give this film a thumbs down need to get a dictionary and distinguish the difference between the two terms. Andre Dubus III's novel has been done justice. Thumbs up.


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