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House of Sand and Fog
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House of Sand and Fog (2003) More at IMDbPro »

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House of Sand and Fog -- An Iranian immigrant, has spent most of his savings trying to enhance his daughter's chances of a good marriage. Once she is married, he spends the remaining funds on a house at an auction, unwittingly putting himself and his family in the middle of a legal tussle with the house's former owner. What begins as a legal struggle turns into a personal confrontation, with tragic results.
House of Sand and Fog -- TH post
House of Sand and Fog -- An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners.


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7.6/10   54,158 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Andre Dubus III (novel)
Vadim Perelman (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for House of Sand and Fog on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 January 2004 (USA) See more »
Some dreams can't be shared.
An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 30 nominations See more »
(220 articles)
User Reviews:
Brilliant, but Excruciatingly Tragic See more (464 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jennifer Connelly ... Kathy

Ben Kingsley ... Behrani

Ron Eldard ... Lester

Frances Fisher ... Connie Walsh

Kim Dickens ... Carol Burdon

Shohreh Aghdashloo ... Nadi

Jonathan Ahdout ... Esmail

Navi Rawat ... Soraya

Carlos Gómez ... Lt. Alvarez

Kia Jam ... Ali
Jaleh Modjallal ... Yasmin

Samira Damavandi ... Little Soraya
Matthew Simonian ... Little Esmail

Namrata Singh Gujral ... Wedding Guest (as Namrata S. Gurjal-Cooper)

Nasser Faris ... Wedding Guest (as Al Faris)

Mark Chaet ... Wedding Guest

Marco Rodríguez ... Mendez (as Marco Rodriguez)

Al Rodrigo ... Torez

Aki Aleong ... Tran
Joyce Kurtz ... Kathy's Mom
Scott N. Stevens ... County Official
Ken Kerman ... Locksmith

Scott Kinworthy ... Deputy Trainee
Tom Benick ... Hotel Security
Samuel Hart ... Elevator Man
Jackie Ahdout ... Elevator Woman

Spencer Garrett ... Auctioneer

Cooper Thornton ... Gary
Isabelle James ... Teenage Girl

Bonita Friedericy ... Motel Manager

David Carrera ... Carpenter

Michael Papajohn ... Carpenter

Joe Howard ... Appraiser
Aaron Frazier ... Courier
Dan Brinkle ... Husband Buyer
Yan Lin ... Wife Buyer

Andre Dubus III ... Myers
Max Jansen Weinstein ... Nate

Ashley Edner ... Bethany (as Ashley Louise Edner)

Ray Abruzzo ... Frank

Tom Reynolds ... Gas Station Worker
Jose L. Vasquez ... Arresting Officer (as Jose Vasquez)
Matthew Waite ... Arresting Officer (as Matt Waite)

Pamela Shaddock ... Nurse

Frank Gallegos ... Prison Guard (as Frank Gallego)

Karl Makinen ... Officer at End

Zoran Radanovich ... Sergei
Markus Baldwin ... Young Husband

Brian Reed Garvin ... Fat Man
Dennison Samaroo ... Doctor
Elton Ahi ... Wedding Singer

Shani Rigsbee ... Wedding Singer

Andy Madadian ... Wedding Singer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Leslie Yeransian ... Bridesmaid (uncredited)

Directed by
Vadim Perelman 
Writing credits
Andre Dubus III (novel)

Vadim Perelman (screenplay) and
Shawn Lawrence Otto (screenplay)

Produced by
Michael London .... producer
Shawn Lawrence Otto .... co-producer
Vadim Perelman .... producer
Nina R. Sadowsky .... executive producer
Jeremiah Samuels .... co-producer
Chris Soldo .... associate producer
Stewart Till .... executive producer
Original Music by
James Horner 
Cinematography by
Roger Deakins 
Film Editing by
Lisa Zeno Churgin 
Casting by
Deborah Aquila 
Tricia Wood 
Production Design by
Maia Javan 
Art Direction by
Drew Boughton 
Set Decoration by
Gene Serdena 
Costume Design by
Hala Bahmet 
Makeup Department
Judy Chin .... key makeup artist
Kris Evans .... makeup artist: Mr. Kingsley
Kathrine Gordon .... key hair stylist
Lori Rozman .... assistant hair stylist
Betty Lou Skinner .... hair stylist
Production Management
Sven E. Fahlgren .... post-production supervisor
Gina Fortunato .... production supervisor
Jo Dee Freck .... post-production supervisor
Kevin Halloran .... production supervisor
Jeremiah Samuels .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Greg Hale .... second assistant director
Stephanie Kime .... second second assistant director
Cliff T.E. Roseman .... first assistant director
Chris Soldo .... first assistant director
Art Department
Ron Ashmore .... paint supervisor
Peter Bankins .... property master
Jay Dupuy .... plaster department head
J. Michael Glynn .... set dresser
Lance Gunnin .... general foreman
Steve A. Hagberg .... construction coordinator (as Steve Hagberg)
Sarah Harwich .... construction purchaser
Sean Lyons .... on-set paint
Jonah Markowitz .... art department
Gary Metzen .... laborer
Christopher Morente .... greensperson
Todd Morris .... on-set dresser
Dan Ondrejko .... greens coordinator
Stuart Rankine .... assistant property master
Grant Samson .... lead man
Nithya Shrinivasan .... assistant art director
Thomas Spencer .... set dresser
Robert Stover .... buyer
Rick C. Taplin .... art department assistant
Cheree Welsh .... art department coordinator
Sound Department
James Ashwill .... foley mixer
George Berndt .... adr supervisor
Colin Cooper .... adr recordist
Susan Dudeck .... sound editor
Christopher Eakins .... sound assistant
Robert Jackson .... boom operator
William B. Kaplan .... production sound mixer (as Bill Kaplan)
Tateum Kohut .... sound re-recording mixer
Greg LaPlante .... digital mastering
Skip Lievsay .... supervising sound editor
Peggy Names .... sound utility
Kevin O'Connell .... supervising sound mixer
Jeremy Peirson .... sound editor
Jerry Ross .... supervising sound editor
Greg P. Russell .... sound re-recording mixer
Dan Sharp .... sound re-recordist
Greg ten Bosch .... foley supervisor
Ron Vignone .... assistant sound editor
Cary Weitz .... boom operator
Susan Dawes .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Lynn Garrido .... special effects technician
Richard O. Helmer .... special effects director
Michael Lantieri .... special effects coordinator
Brandon K. McLaughlin .... special effects
Christopher A. Suarez .... special effects technician
Douglas D. Ziegler .... special effects foreman
Visual Effects by
Ozzie Carmona .... digital compositor
Brad Kalinoski .... digital compositor
Greg Rodin .... scan/record operator
Greg Anthony .... stunt double: Esmail
Craig Branham .... stunts
Wendi Bromley .... stunt double: Jennifer Connelly
Bud Davis .... stunts
Jewel Donohue .... stunt double: Kathy
Diana R. Lupo .... stunt double: Jennifer Connelly (as Diana Lupo)
Chris Monberg .... stunts
Chris O'Hara .... stunts
David D. Renaud .... stunt double: Behrani (as David Renaud)
Russell Solberg .... stunts
Scott Sproule .... stunt coordinator
Sonny Tipton .... stunts
Jose L. Vasquez .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
James Barrett .... electrician
Bruce Birmelin .... still photographer
Josh Blakeslee .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Earl R. Cantrell .... electrician
Chad Cohlmia .... lighting technician
Julian de la Pena .... electrician
Will Dearborn .... camera loader
Seong Dilg .... dolly grip
Clinton Dougherty .... camera operator
Andrew Dumas .... additional second assistant camera
Nersi Elahi .... camera production assistant
Kenn Ferro .... camera operator: "a" camera (as Ken Ferro)
Chris Gordon .... dolly grip
Robert Gray .... key grip (as Bob Gray)
Quinn Grove .... best boy grip
Rick Grover .... grip
Bruce Hamme .... dolly grip
Jimmy Harritos .... rigging electrician
Paul Janossy .... first assistant camera: second unit
Jesse Kaplan .... video assistant
Jerry Kim .... grip
Mako Koiwai .... assistant camera: second unit
Ronald A. Miller .... rigging grip foreman
Chris Napolitano .... chief lighting technician
David A. Parks .... best boy rigging electric
Matthew A. Petrosky .... assistant camera: time-lapse photography, second unit
Andrea Ruane .... rigging grip (as Andi Ruane)
Sean Smith .... electrician
David Stockton .... director of photography: second unit
Mike Stockton .... lighting technician
Chuck Weiss .... video assist operator
Scott C. Williman .... rigging
Robert Zullo .... rigging grip
Steve Zvorsky .... rigging electrician
Christian J. Killingsworth .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Tracy Dixon .... extras casting
Jennifer L. Smith .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marisa Aboitiz .... assistant costume designer
Virginia Burton .... costume supervisor
Jill Korengold .... set costumer
Editorial Department
Phillip J. Bartell .... assistant editor
Kenny Becker .... color timer
Mike Bellamy .... final colorist
Gary Burritt .... negative cutter
Martin Cohen .... post-production executive
Kevin Du Toit .... assistant post-production
Helen Hand .... first assistant editor
Jeffrey C. Price .... editorial production assistant
Shannyn Riba .... apprentice editor
Dana E. Glauberman .... additional editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Elton Ahi .... composer: songs
Ramiro Belgardt .... music editor
Bob Bornstein .... music preparation
Sandy DeCrescent .... orchestra contractor
Jim Henrikson .... supervising music editor
Todd Homme .... executive music supervisor
James Horner .... conductor
James Horner .... orchestrator
Joe Lisanti .... music editor: temp music
Jason Lloyd .... scoring assistant
Andy Madadian .... song music
Julyce Monbleaux .... music supervisor
Jen Monnar .... assistant music editor
Simon Rhodes .... music scoring mixer
Shani Rigsbee .... song music
Peter Rotter .... orchestra contractor
Jay Selvester .... scoring assistant
Transportation Department
Randy Burke .... driver
Daniel Davis .... driver: base camp generator
John Lybrand .... transportation
Bill McCance .... driver
Chad Moore .... production driver
Jack Jay Reece .... driver (as Jay Reece)
Don Violett .... transportation captain
Other crew
Martin Allen .... location scout
Derek Avila .... location scout
Luke Bishop .... assistant: Mr. Kingsley
Tien Brunelle .... assistant: Mr. Samuels (as Tien Nguyen)
Jean Costello .... assistant production coordinator
Judy Heinzen Culotta .... key assistant location manager (as Judy Heinzen)
Maria DeVane .... post-production accountant
Marty Elfalan .... assistant accountant (as Martin Elfalan)
Arash Esfandi .... production assistant
Timothy Falconer .... location manager (as Tim Falconer)
Robert Foulkes .... co-location manager
Jesec Griffin .... production assistant
Jill Hahn .... payroll accountant
Marc W. Havener .... set production assistant
Doris Hellmann .... production accountant
Travis Hills .... set production assistant
Jay Johnson .... main title design
Andrew C. Keeter .... location manager (as Andy Keeter)
Jay Y. Lee .... production assistant
Steven Maines .... stand-in
Lisa Markou .... digital coordinator
Randy McKenney .... stand-in
Matthew Michaud .... assistant: Mr. Perelman
Steven R. Molen .... production executive
Jennifer Monroe .... assistant: Mr. London (as Jennifer Hilton)
Shelly Morita .... assistant: Ms. Connelly
Scott Peterson .... script supervisor
Jim Roberts .... medic
Peter Robinson .... assistant: Mr. Perelman
Chad Saxton .... set production assistant
Sara Scarritt .... production coordinator (as Sarah Scarritt)
Yovel Schwartz .... production assistant: San Francisco
Christina Sibul .... production executive
Emre Sonmez .... location scout
Louise Spencer .... unit publicist
Gail Stempler .... location scout: San Francisco
Pavel Sterba .... key assistant location manager
Jack Stern .... studio teacher
Val Tasso .... stand-in: Jonathan Ahdout
Leif Tilden .... assistant location manager
Gerald A. Vitatoe Jr. .... second assistant accountant
Steven Jetton .... layout board (uncredited)
Cynthia Megna .... craftservice (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for some violence/disturbing images, language and a scene of sexuality
126 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:MA | Canada:14A | Chile:14 | Czech Republic:15 | Finland:K-15 | Germany:12 | Iceland:14 | Iceland:12 (video rating) | Netherlands:12 | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:15 | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:NC-16 (edited for re-rating) | Singapore:R(A) (original rating) | Singapore:M18 (re-rating) (uncut) | South Korea:15 | Sweden:15 | Switzerland:16 (canton of the Grisons) | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #40189)

Did You Know?

In the scenes on the rooftop porch, telephone poles and wires are prominently visible. These were added by the production crew, to make the neighborhood where filming occurred seem more middle-class.See more »
Continuity: The morning after Lester and Kathy arrive at the cabin, Kathy emerges from the front door and her long hair is tucked into the back of her shirt. A moment later, it is loose.See more »
[first lines]
Officer at End:Are you Kathy Nicolo?
Officer at End:Is this your house?
See more »
Movie Connections:
LayleeSee more »


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222 out of 256 people found the following review useful.
Brilliant, but Excruciatingly Tragic, 10 December 2004
Author: eht5y from United States

Since antiquity, tragedy has been regarded as the highest and most important form of drama for its ability to arouse the deepest sense of pathos and empathy from its audience.

Remind yourself of this if you choose to watch 'House of Sand and Fog.' I can state emphatically that 'House' is one of the most artfully directed and acted films of the last five years, but make no mistake: it is a tragedy, and only the hardest and most jaded of hearts will emerge from the experience undisturbed. It is a dissertation on sorrow, and while I'm glad I saw it, I can't say I had a whole lot of fun.

'House' was directed by newcomer Vadim Perelman, who also adapted the screenplay from the acclaimed novel by Andre Dubus III. Perelman tweaks the story in some respects but is ultimately faithful to the novel's style and sensibility. As in the novel, the story is filtered through alternating perspectives, the foremost of which are Behrani (Ben Kingsley), a Persian ex-pat and a former high-ranking officer under the Shah in Iran, and Kathy Lazaro (Jennifer Connelly), a severely depressed recovering alcoholic tenuously holding onto sobriety but nevertheless gradually self-destructing after the collapse of her marriage.

The two characters are drawn together, appropriately enough, by the house of the title, a small but elegant coastal property in fictional Pacific County, California (the novel sets the house in Malibu). The house belongs to Kathy, who inherited it (along with her older brother, who lives elsewhere) from her deceased father. Kathy has become a victim of a bureaucratic snafu--she has been erroneously charged with delinquency on taxes for a non-existent business--but due to her textbook depressive refusal to open and answer her mail, she wakes up one morning to find that the county has evicted her and put her property up for auction.

Enter Colonel Behrani, a regal man of aristocratic bearing whose ruthless determination to maintain the standard of living his family has always been accustomed to is simultaneously honorable and pathetic. Behrani is the story's tragic hero in the classical sense. Behrani has been saving and shrewdly watching the classified ads waiting for a chance to snap up a foreclosure at a cut rate price, make modest renovations, and then resell the property at peak market value in order to acquire a six-figure nest-egg to fund his son's education and improve his family's future prospects in the US. Fortuitously, the house he buys at auction--Kathy's house--is a coastal property bearing some resemblance to his former home on the Caspian Sea, back before his family fled Iran. The house is seen in an early flashback, an eerie montage wherein a younger Behrani in full-dress service uniform observes as a row of enormous trees are severed at the trunk so that the sea will be visible from the balcony where he stands.

To elaborate the plot further would be too revealing, so I'll simply say that the lead performances in this film are sublime. I didn't think at first that I'd be able to believe the stunningly beautiful Jennifer Connelly as Kathy, a woman who redefines the term 'self-destructive,' and yet Connelly manages once again as she did in 'A Beautiful Mind' to prove that her talent and skill match or even exceed the looks. It really goes without saying that Ben Kingsley's Behrani is a stunning performance--Kingsley is a mesmerizingly charismatic screen presence and a chameleonic character actor; few actors in the history of film have been able to so convincingly disappear into their characters while projecting such a distinctive, distinguished persona. Both actors master these demanding roles such that the audience feels a broad scope of contradictory and ambiguous emotions towards their characters; neither is completely sympathetic nor despicable, and though in the Aristotelian sense Behrani is the story's tragic hero, it's resolution remains ambiguous, as does the ultimate responsibility for the tragic denouement.

The direction of the film has its occasional hitches, but many of Vadim Perelman's shots are brilliantly captivating. The Northern California coastline is exploited to maximum effect, and Perelman offers numerous shots and angles of seamless appeal--they are original and engaging without feeling forced or consciously 'film-schoolish.' It's quite a beautiful movie to look at, from the meticulous arrangement of the Behrani's luxurious furniture and decorations to the patience with which Perelman lets his actors' nuanced facial expressions and physical gestures unfold the depths of their characters.

I have some slight reservation about recommending the film simply because its tragedy is so unmerciful. And there are moments where you may find yourself exasperated with the characters and unwilling to maintain your sympathy for them. Personally, I think it's worth a look for the quality of the performances alone. It's also quite original and distinctive in style. It's devastatingly sad, however, and so should be reserved for appropriate moods.

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Miscasting is the real tragedy here barneyljc
after the movie you feel heaviness in the soul ki_to86
Did Jennifer Connolly actually jump onto the nails? fmlondon-1
Hate towards Connolie`s character (POSSIBLE SPOILERS) e_sostaks
I stopped watching when (Spoiler) gt32
AHH! This movie was so great, but the music ruined everything for me!!! vinceejaxeen
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