Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: Áurea's saga starts in 1910, when, in pursuing a dream she never shared, she arrives in a caravan at a labyrinth of sand in Maranhão, northern Brazil. Her husband, Vasco, believes this land to be prosperous and she is condemned to a life in this barren place, her only female company being her mother, Dona Maria. Pregnant and dissatisfied with her destiny, she tries everything to find a way out. (Sony Pictures Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. The story plays out in the sensuous textures and hypnotic rhythms as the rebellious youth Torres embodies eases into a serenity and acceptance that Montenegro brings so gently to her performance.
  2. Sensual, dreamlike, both intimate and epic, The House of Sand is a cinematic tour de force.
  3. 83
    Whether Waddington's film comes across as hypnotic or boring, mythic or pretentious, may depend on the viewer's mood or tolerance for quasi-allegorical storytelling. But, as the women in House of Sand learn, patience can sometimes be its own reward.
  4. 75
    It's a grand outdoor spectacle (the only real interiors are within tents, and those are hard to come by) and a perfectly juicy melodrama.
  5. This epic tale of survival, love and adjustment covers a 59-year period - from 1910, when a band of urban émigrés arrives to start a settlement, to 1969, when only one of them remains.
  6. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Andrucha Waddington's admirably pretentious epic of woman in nature makes the rare attempt to impart a purely visual experience
  7. This pretentious 2005 art movie is somewhat interesting for its wide-screen photography of the striking locale, but the storytelling is awkward and confusing.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. TaniaK.
    Jan 11, 2007
    This movie is brilliant, but I think you have to be in a particular frame of mind to see that it's more than beautiful cinematography, more than the brilliant performances, and more than the understated emotions flowing throught the movie. To me, it's about finding out that no matter where you go to start over, whether it's a physical place or a mental place, your contentment and peace of heart is inside of you and not determined by external forces. Expand
  2. AntonioJ.
    Oct 17, 2006
    One of the best Brazilian movies ever!
  3. Welington
    Aug 13, 2006
    Good movie. Wonderfully acted and beautiful cinematography with something to say.
  4. JohnA.
    Oct 17, 2006
    Excellent cinematography and acting. A moving story.
  5. Shirlee
    Sep 27, 2006
    A gorgeous movie in every sense.