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Kingsley is Massoud Amir Behrani, a former colonel in the service of the Iranian Shah. Forced to flee the country after the fall of the monarch, Behrani now works two jobs - convenience store clerk by night and road maintenance worker by day - to try and stem the slow drain of his savings being spent on the expensive lifestyle that his wife Nadi (Shohreh Aghdashloo) is used to. Perusing the paper, he sees an moneymaking opportunity in the public auction of a house confiscated by the county to pay back taxes. Massoud intends to buy the place on the cheap, fix it up, and sell it at the going market rate. Behrani is a proud man determined to regain his self-respect and the Good Life for his family. By maintaining a facade of affluence, he's already managed to marry his daughter off to another wealthy and respectable Iranian emigre. Now, he needs to put his son Esmail (Jonathan Ahdout) through college.
Unfortunately, the home is owned by Kathy Nicolo (Jennifer Connelly), who inherited it from her father eight months previous. Kathy is a recovering alcoholic, who failed to deal with the county bureaucracy when she had the chance, and now it's too late to stop the sale. She's evicted, has nowhere to go, no friends, no nearby family, no money, and is truly on the edge.
Into this volatile mix comes Lester Burdon (Ron Eldard), who's the police deputy assigned the uncomfortable task of tossing Nicolo into the street.Read more ›
I will however say that this is one of the most moving films of the last decade. There are many reasons for this but the core cast provide the solid base on which the film is built. Kingsley is note-perfect. Jennifer Connelly is also fantastic but the killer performance however comes from Shohreh Aghdashloo as Kinsley's wife. The Academy was mistaken in choosing Rene Zwellweger over her at this year's Oscars.
This is by no means a "Saturday-night-flick" but don't let that put you off. It is instead a master class in acting. Super photography and a fantastic score all add to the mix. Whatever you do this year, watch this film.