House of Sand and Fog (2003)
The story is thus: Kathy (Jennifer Connelly) is a recovering alcoholic who fails to pay taxes on her home and is evicted. Within the same week, Massoud Behrani, an Iranian immigrant (Ben Kingsley) with aspirations to make it in America, buys the house at an auction. His intention is to buy it cheap, then fix it up and make a massive profit, so that he can stop working 2 crappy jobs (construction and convenience store clerk), as well as send his son to college. The only problem is that the house was wrongly seized, because Kathy was charged with taxes she didn't owe, and therefore did not pay said wrongful taxes. The film becomes a struggle between Kathy and Behrani over the rightful ownership of the house.
The film was very well made, and really gets you involved in what seems like a boring story "on paper." You see both sides of the struggle and can understand each character's motivations and sympathize with both sides. Ben Kingsley and Shohreh Aghdashloo (as Behrani's wife) both received well-deserved Oscar nominations for this film, as both were perfect in their roles. Jennifer Connelly did an excellent job as well, and was snubbed by the Academy. The only actor who didn't hold his weight was Ron Eldard (who you know as Skank Martin in "Mystery, Alaska") as Kathy's would-be boyfriend. If you're a fan of dramas, this one is a good rent.
April 16, 2004