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Movie Review: House of Sand

Alternate Title: Lost and Found

Story: This haunting visual tale finds a family in 1910 relocating to the inhospitable Maranhao region in Northern Brazil. The region holds lots of sand, sun and the promise of a hard life. The patriarch of the family dragged his young, pregnant wife and her mother, who clearly did not want to relocate to this uninviting spot. Fast forward and we find the two women alone, fending for themselves, against all odds.

How they cope, who they meet and what becomes of them over the course of the next 60 years develops before our eyes. The actresses, as they age change roles and it is a remarkable filmmaking twist and treat. Director Andrucha Waddinton from a script by Elena Soarez dazzles us and we invest in these two women and the people they meet in their lifelong struggle. And we certainly do care about them.

This film takes a bit of patience to watch. It evolves slowly but is well worth your time and indulgence. I am still thinking about these remarkable women and the land they conquered.

Acting: Extraordinary performances by real life mother and daughter Fernanda Montenegro (Central Station) and Fernanda Torres.

Predilection: None

Critters: Donkeys, fish and birds

Food: Fish

Visual Art: The luminous cinematography by Ricardo Della Rosa is almost too much for the eye to take in. It reminded me at times of the expansive landscape in Lawrence of Arabia.

Theater Audience: Surprisingly crowded.

Weather: Hot and dry most of the times with occasional downpours.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 2

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I was hypnotized through the entire film.

Predictability Level: Moderate

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Big Screen or Rental: I am not sure you will find this film i your local cineplex. It should be seen on the big screen for the visual effects.

Length: Under two hours.