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Thursday, September 28, 2006

House of Sand

Posted on Thu, Sep 28, 2006 at 4:00 AM

****
House of Sand
Length: Single
Studio: Sony Pictures Releasing International
Rated: R
Release Date: 2006-09-29
Cast: Fernanda Montenegro, Fernanda Torres, Ruy Guerra, Seu Jorge, Luis Melodia
Director: Andrucha Waddington
Screenwriter: Andrucha Waddington, Elena Soarez, Luiz Carlos Barreto
Music Score: Joao Barone
WorkNameSort: House of Sand
Our Rating: 4.00
Taking place over six decades in the vast, dusty hinterlands of Brazil's northern deserts, House of Sand is nothing if not expansive. Filling this canvas to great if occasionally confusing effect are two of Brazil's best actresses (Fernanda Montenegro and her daughter, Fernanda Torres), who switch roles at different points as the frequently time-shifting story unfolds. Having followed her husband into this wasteland (he had a claim on some land), only to have him die on her, Dona Maria (Montenegro) decides to tough it out with her daughter (Torres), a decision probably made more palatable by the presence of a helpful and none-too-ugly local villager (played by musician Seu Jorge). The dramatic and often sad lives led by the women yield surprisingly intimate dramas considering such limitless surroundings, a contrast that's played up by the excellent cinematography.

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