House of Sand and Fog
A lack of empathetic characters cripples this poorly paced but well acted drama about an Iranian family who purchase a city-auctioned bungalow in Northern California after its former tenant has been unjustly evicted. Ben Kingsley gives a brilliant outsize performance as Massoud Amir Behrani, an overbearing former Colonel in the Iranian Air Force who has pinched dimes and quarters to purchase an investment property for his wife and son. Jennifer Connelly has the misfortune of playing Kathy Nicolo, a loose-screw character lacking in common sense who negligently allows herself to be railroaded by city tax collectors after her husband abandons her. This unsatisfying movie is based on a best-selling novel by Andre Dubus III and directed by newcomer Vadim Perelman.
Rated R. 126 mins. (C) (Two Stars)