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... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sylvie
Sara Walker ...
Ruth
Andrea Burchill ...
Lucille
Anne Pitoniak ...
Aunt Lily
Barbara Reese ...
Aunt Nona
Margot Pinvidic ...
Helen
Bill Smillie ...
Sheriff
...
Principal
Betty Phillips ...
Mrs. Jardine
Karen Elizabeth Austin ...
Mrs. Paterson
Dolores Drake ...
Mrs. Walker (as Delores Drake)
Georgie Collins ...
Grandmother
Tonya Tanner ...
Young Ruth
Leah Penny ...
Young Lucille
Brian Linds ...
Deputy Sheriff
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Storyline

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. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a woman slightly distracted by the possibilities of life. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

January 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Azo Min Doda  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,083,282 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Rankcolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Diane Keaton was originally cast as Sylvie but left due to creative differences. See more »

Quotes

Ruth: It must be his boat.
Sylvie: That or he's some sort of lunatic. Either way, I'm not going back to find out.
See more »

Soundtracks

Starlight Blue
(uncredited)
Music by Alain Leroux
Studio G Ltd
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User Reviews

 
A 'Best 10 List' Film to me
21 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A work of Great Genius, this coming of age film is beautiful, haunting, darkly comic. I love Local Hero but I think this is Bill Forsyth's masterpiece so far. It is about conformity, parenting, coming of age, making choices, madness, creativity, adulthood, tragedies that every family endures, riding on trains, family traits and how they are passed down,living in a small town, life, death, boy scouts doing their good deed for the day, the many uses of newsprint ... the list goes on and on. In short, it is about everything and works at many levels, as a Great Film should. And this is a Truly Great Film, high on my top ten list of favorite films of all time. It is perfectly written, directed and filmed by Bill Forsyth of Scotland, and it includes a great performance by Christine Lahti and also by the supporting cast (esp. those who play her nieces). There is not a bad note in this film, it is a perfect film in every way, to my eye.

I understand why some commentators give this film a low rating -- they came looking for a comedy, or for the light melancholia of Local Hero (also a wonderful movie and one of my favorites). Housekeeping is dark melancholia, but it is also deeper and richer of a brew -- kind of Bergman with a sense of humor, in its vibe (though not its plot) it reminds me of another coming of age film, To Kill a Mockingbird, and it is of that film's high caliber.

This film is woefully under-appreciated in the U.S., I hope it is released on DVD soon. It deserves another chance to be recognized for what it is -- one of the greatest films of a generation. And I so hope that Bill Forsyth, still relatively young in his early sixties, gets back to writing and directing. His films are wonderful but too few. I really want to -- NEED to -- hear more from Mr. Forsyth, I feel his absence deeply, it is as if Yo-Yo Ma or Heifitz put away their fiddles after a few great concerts, and played no more. Please come back, Mr. Forsyth!


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