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327 Ratings


Directed by Bill Forsyth
United States, 1987
Comedy, Drama


In the Pacific Northwest during the 1950’s, two young sisters whose mother has abandoned them wind up living with their Aunt Sylvie, whose views of the world and its conventions don’t quite live up the most people’s expectations.

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Housekeeping Directed by Bill Forsyth

Awards & Festivals

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

1987 | 2nd place: Best Actress

Tokyo International Film Festival

1987 | 2 wins including: Best Screenplay Award

On first viewing Bill Forsyth’s film Housekeeping (1987) I was somewhat unimpressed by its low-key television-movie feel… On closer inspection, though, Housekeeping belies an eloquent audiovisual arrangement, submerging profound aspects of the original material in an unpretentious style, leaving them to rise to the surface of their own accord.
October 18, 2017
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I recently read Marilynne Robinson’s sad and lovely novel of the same name, and now I’m astonished by how neatly Forsyth’s screen adaptation complements its source. Robinson’s detailed prose and biblical allusions find their analogues in the film’s subdued colors, its period costuming, and the real-life mountains that cradle it like a mother’s arms.
June 30, 2017
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Forsyth’s first American production, HOUSEKEEPING advances an aesthetic in his work that was seemingly influenced by the exquisite beauty of his home country. There’s also a Jarmuschian lyricism in his depiction of nature; it shares its wisdom with Sylvie and her niece but never relinquishes its supreme power over them.
August 07, 2015
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