House of Sand and Fog

Rated 4.0 A woman (Jennifer Connelly) sees her house confiscated on a false charge of non-payment of taxes, and before she can straighten things out, the county sells the home to an Iranian immigrant (Ben Kingsley) with financial problems of his own. Adapted from Andre Dubus III’s novel by Shawn Otto and first-time director Vadim Perelman, the film is a slow-moving but heart-wrenching tragedy of errors with excellent acting. It’s terribly frustrating to watch; these are three of the most pig-headed fools any movie ever had (the third is Ron Eldard as a meddling deputy sheriff), and we just want to shake them all and yell at them to snap out of it. Perelman tightens the screws with meticulous deliberation; it’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion, punctuated with ominous chords of James Horner’s music.