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House of Sand and Fog (2003)
Good Acting / Atrocious Movie
This movie is one of the most agonizing films I have endured. It is one of those horrible movies in which the characters are all stupid. And at every opportunity make the worst decisions possible. Decisions few normal people would make under similar situations.
Second, the entire film is based on a false pretense. A situation as portrayed in the film pretty much could not happen. First off, the eviction would likely require the owner to be notified in person. Second, $500 would likely be collected via other means (ie: garnishing of wages, etc.). Houses with back taxes often sit on the rolls for years...not months. The auction would not happen within a day or even a week. In this situation where there was a dispute, the lawyer would immediately have sought an injunction. And would have received it since the reason for the foreclosure was disputed. The sale would have been put on hold. Heck, have you ever tried to buy a house? Closing usually takes a week or more.
To those who seem to rate this movie highly and point to it as some "cultural dialog" and a "portrayal of the degraded state of Americans". Several stated it was a contrast on the responsible immigrants and the irresponsible American who didn't pay her taxes. Um, were you watching the same movie I was? In the movie it was a business tax, she did not own a business. This wasn't her being negligent, rather it was bureaucratic mistake.
As for the cultural...while there was some touch upon culture there was little dichotomy. I would say this movie portrayed the exact opposite. Both the natural born Americans and the foreign born Americans (both groups were Americans) acted in stupid irrational manners.
There were so many dumb decisions on the part of these characters. It was ridiculous. About the only decent person in the whole film was the son.
Ugh...I can't even see how this could have received such high ratings. Especially seeing as how a number of reviewers lambaste people for being stupid if they don't understand the point. I am sorry, is the accepting of "stupid characters" somehow a sign of intelligence - I think not.
-- The positive, there was very good acting. I'd give the movie a good B+/A when it comes to acting and D/F on almost everything else. If you're a movie watcher who likes your characters to be intelligent, rational, and to make reasonable decisions. Don't watch this film. If you enjoy movies where characters do really dumb things in order to further a dumb plot based on a wrong premise then this is the movie for you. The such horribly poor decisions made by ALL the characters in this film are essentially akin to the "girl always tripping" as she runs away from the monster/villain. It's very contrived.