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Video Review: House of Sand and Fog

This started as a request by a lady-friend of mine to watch the movie “House of Sand and Fog“. I figured if it didn’t have exploding cars and half-naked women on the DVD jacket it wouldn’t be worth watching, and as it turns out I was right.


But I gave my word that I would not only watch it but offer my opinions on it afterward. The following is my take on House of Sand and Fog.


House of Sand and Fog Philip’s Review of “House Of Sand And Fog”


This definitely is not your typical feel-good movie; it was more like a commentary on morals and karma. In fact, I learned several things in this movie…


If you watch a movie based on anything written by Andre Dubus III, you will feel like cutting your wrists afterward. Do not order wine at dinner if your guest is a recovering alcoholic. I don’t care how bad your marriage is, don’t dump your wife for a woman who lost her house because she doesn’t OPEN HER F*$#ING MAIL. If someone mispronounces your name, it is not worth your life. If you are an attorney, it might be unprofessional to take a client’s word for the spelling of an adversary’s name. It might be a good idea to carry a cell phone in case a deranged cop locks you in a bathroom. Somewhere in this universe, a Snickers bar still costs 35 cents.


That all being said…I liked it. Not necessarily enjoyed it – I don’t think the director had “enjoyment” in mind – but I liked it. Ben Kingsley is always a treat, and La Connelly is a visual as well as dramatic feast. The glimpse into social mores of other cultures is always enlightening, and Behrani’s treatment of Nadi was both primitive and loving. Deputy Dog Lester walked around with a hang-dog expression throughout the film – as if he were only now seeing the consequences of his actions. Small wonder he ends up being Bubba’s bitch. Kathy has some serious house envy issues. See what happens when you become too sentimental / materialistic?

Perhaps it’s just me – I don’t always “get” Oscar-nominated films – but I see this as a morality play, writ large and in modern times. Lessons are being both given and accepted at many levels in this film, all ultimately leading to only one choice – live a life moment-by-moment, for even with the greatest of intentions and the most powerful of manifestations we are all doomed.


If this were a date flick, I’d turn gay. But as a somber examination of life as something more than skittles and beer and yet something less, I’d say bravo.

house of sand and fog

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