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A film by Vadim Perelman

In the preview for this movie we see Ben Kingsley say Things are not as they appear , and this is a line that is both appropriate for the scene in which it is said, but it is also a perfect line to describe this movie. Things are not as they appear. The preview for House of Sand and Fog gives us what we need to know to go into the movie. We learn that Kathy (Jennifer Connelly) has been evicted from her house and that Behrani (Ben Kingsley) was able to buy it a very cheap rate because it was put up for auction by the city. We learn that Kathy s home should not have been put up for auction and that the city made a mistake. We learn that there is going to be something of a confrontation between Kathy and Behrani. That s all we need to know to set up the movie, but as Behrani said, things are not as they appear.

The movie we see from the preview is simplistic. The cast is excellent, but we have no clue about the depth that this movie has in its performances and in the story itself. The preview suggests that Kingsley will be the bad guy, but the relationships are much more complex than that and when we learn more about Behrani and his situation and his family, it is impossible to view him as a villain, nor do I think he is intended to be so. The entire story centers around the house and the desire to own this house, Kathy for herself and her ties to her family, and Behrani for his own. Things are not as they appear.

Considering the fact that this is a film by a first time director, I was astounded by how good it is. I didn t have very strong expectations when I started watching it, but I was stunned by its power and heart and the tragedy implicit in House of Sand and Fog . The movie also features a heartbreaking supporting performance by Shohreh Adghashloo as Behrani s wife Nadi.

I do not want to praise this movie too highly lest I raise expectations to a level that cannot be met. I would recommend this movie to anyone, and would say only to expect a good movie with excellent performances, and that this is a beautiful tragedy of a film.


I've read the book and saw the movie and although the movie follows the book pretty is strange that I come out of it with two very different views. When I read the book, I had absolutely no sympathy whatsoever for Kathy and felt that Mr. Bahrani was a victim to events that she set in motion.

With the movie, I sympathize with Kathy and find that Kingsley portrays Mr Bahrani as being self serving and proud and that he wasn't a victim at all as he had the power to stop the events at any time.