I was surprised by how engrossed I became with House of Sand and Fog. For some reason when it came out I just sort of rolled my eyes at it. I don't know why.
It is a very intense story about a woman whose house is seized and the man who buys it for auction. I got sucked into the drama very quickly and really cared about all the characters -- well there was one that bugged me the whole time. Jennifer Connelly gets a boyfriend who is married and after one night with her he throws away his family and his career and acts like a total crazy person. It just seemed weird and was this very unpleasant element to the movie -- although his craziness was central to the plot. I guess I didn't totally buy into him. So that was a flaw.
Ben Kingsley was amazing as a determined and despotic Iranian trying to restore his family's dignity in the US. I think he might have won an academy award for it; I'm sure he was nominated.