House Of Sand And Fog

First-time director Vadim Perelman directs his own adaptation of Andre Dubus III’s novela tragic melodrama about real estatewith a fine sense of balance. Jennifer Connelly plays a recovering alcoholic who loses her house after an error is made in her tax assessment; Ben Kingsley is an Iranian colonel in exile who acquires the house at auction and won’t sell it back. Responsibility for the ensuing tragedy is so finely calibrated that neither can be comprehensively blamed or exculpated. Shohreh Aghdashloo is especially good as the colonel’s wife; Ron Eldard is also fine as a cop and family man who falls for the dispossessed woman, although the script doesn’t accord his character as much depth as it does the central figures. R, 126 min. (JR)

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