House of Sand and Fog
A brilliant treatise on people who do all the right things for all the wrong reasons.
No Spoilers here, because the last twenty minutes of this film deserves to be seen and not heard, and if you aren't moved here; check your pulse.
First time director Vadim Perelman delivers a powerful story, adapted from a novel by Andre Dubus III. Due to bureaucratic mistakes, a young woman, Kathy Nicolo (Connelly), is evicted from her home. A recovering alcoholic, now dealing with a failed marriage, she's left homeless as the house she grew up in, left to her by her father, is put up for sale at auction.
Massoud Behrani (Ben Kingsley), an exiled Iranian military officer, scoops up the house at an incredibly low price, fulfilling his aspirations of the American dream. A man of great dignity and honor, Behrani has been enduring somewhat humiliating menial labor while chasing this dream for his wife (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and son (Jonathan Ahdout). Behrani now inhabits the house Nicolo realizes was mistakenly taken away. Determined to regain occupancy of a home stolen, Nicolo seeks the help of a sheriff's deputy, a man with troubles of his own.
The kindness of Deputy Lester Burden (Ron Eldred), who gets Nicolo off the streets and into the loving care of himself, is the emotional rescue desperately needed by her and which allows him to receive the affection he's missing at home. Deserting his family, Burden and Nicolo form a frightning duo determined to go to any ends to return the home to its rightful owner.
Here several wrongs intent on making everything right lead to a disastrous life-altering collision as well as a dynamic and unforgettable conclusion. The ability for us, the audience, to at all times have empathy for all concerned, is a direct result of the presentation offered by the director, Vadim Perelman, accompanied by a musical score that rises and falls with the emotional capacity and turbulence of the nearby ocean, always just in view. As should be this film.