Housekeeping is the film in which Christine Lahti invites a guest into a living room half-submerged in water. This is hardly the oddest moment in this characteristically quirky Bill Forsyth film (his first American production). When their mother commits suicide by driving into a lake, Idaho pre-teens Sara Walker and Andrea Burchill are watched over by their aunt Sylvie (played by Ms. Lahti). This strange young woman has throughout her life made unconventionality a life form. The girls are at first embarrassed by their loopy guardian, but when Burchill moves in with another family, Walker draws closer to the older woman. She and Sylvie Director Forsyth adapted his script from a novel by Marilynne Robinson.
by Hal Erickson synopsis