Monday, February 22, 2016

767. Housekeeping

Directed by Bill Forsyth

Well, I suppose you could hardly call this film predictable, which is one thing it has going for it.  I watched this movie about four hours ago and I am still not sure what to make of it.

Ruth and Lucille are teenage sisters who are raised by their grandmother after their mother kills herself. When their grandmother passes away, the girls move in with their Aunt Sylvie.  Sylvie is a bit weird, as she often sleeps on benches and puts marshmallows on branches in the woods to attract children.  Still, she is always kind to the girls, but maybe a tad indifferent.

What a strange film this was.  I kept expecting it to commit to something, but it continued to waver.  At first I thought it was going to some sort of Dickensian drama about an awful guardian.  But as the film progressed, Sylvie never seemed harmful, just not very maternal.  I then thought that one of the sisters would do something outrageously rebellious and that the story would follow them on the run.  This was a bit closer to truth, although the movie seemed to shy away from having the characters do anything too dramatic.

The fragility of the film was rather enchanting, but I found myself getting annoyed by the ninety minute mark.  I have to reflect on this one a bit more.  For now, let's call it three stars.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Diane Keaton was originally cast as Sylvie, but left because of "creative differences."


  1. I'd go a bit higher for this than you did .. but i get your essential drift .. a film that constantly bordered on the edge of being great, but never quite made it ..

    1. Agreed. It's something you have to be precisely in the mood for.

  2. I haven't seen this but by all accounts (save this one I guess) it's pretty average, but it annoys the hell out of me that the director preceded it with 2 of the best British comedies of the 80s in Local Hero and Gregory's Girl which were both overlooked in this one's stead.

    1. Haven't seen/heard of those movies but I agree this was pretty average. I thought it was a really strange choice for a Book movie.

  3. Really? You don't know, at least, Local Hero? It's very good .. and I like Gregory's girl as well...