Volume 6, Issue 2 University of Houston
Quality is clear in 'Sand and Fog'
By Amy Perez
Set in modern-day San Francisco, House of Sand and Fog tells the story of a woman evicted from her inherited home and the family that buys the house. Based on the 400-page novel of the same title by Andre Dubus III, the movie takes its viewers through the lives of characters who seem to be thinking about and going through more than what they make obvious.
No other actors are better suited for the roles of Kathy Nicolo (Jennifer Connelly) and Massoud Amir Behrani (Ben Kingsley). With projects including lead roles in Requiem for a Dream and the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind under Connelly's belt, the forlorn, suicidal role of Kathy Nicolo proves a wise undertaking. Kingsley, known for his Oscar-winning role in the film Ghandi and various other parts in movies such as Schindler's List, brings vitality to the strong-willed hard-working Behrani.
Jennifer Connelly stars as the deeply disturbed and suicidal Kathy Nicolo, in Vadim Perelman's House of Sand and Fog.
Photo courtesy of Dreamworks Pictures
But a talented cast is not the only strong point of the film. Director Vadim Perelman further draws in audience members with surreal sets drowned in fog and simple colors and patterns.
Camera angles often lead to intriguing shots that make the characters' world seem out of control. One such scene included Connelly in a bath tub in which her character swallows an entire bottle of pills. After doing this, she watches the small orange medicine bottle sink slowly into the water where her reflection is clearly shown.
Like the novel, the movie opens slowly. But there is a gradual build-up of action that makes the climactic ending even more powerful and adds to the sometimes-subtle nuances of the characters. Regardless of whether or not you have read the novel, House of Sand and Fog is definitely worth the price of admission.
House of Sand and Fog
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley
The verdict: A successful novel-turned-film for avid readers and movie buffs alike.
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