Unique characters make ‘Housekeeping’ a hit

By Alex Deiro

Its been more than twenty years since actress Christine Lahti or director Bill Forsyth watched the movie “Housekeeping”, but all that changed this Saturday night when the movie was shown at the Virginia Theater.

The film itself centers around an eccentric aunt trying to raise her two orphaned nieces. The screenplay was adapted from a novel for the big screen by Forsyth.

Lahti, who plays the role of Sylvie the aunt, was there along with Forsyth. She spoke about the prevalence of a movie that follows a character who dances to the beat of her own drum.

“It’s so beautiful and its so important today, even more so than it was twenty years ago,” she said.

During the question and answer period Forsyth remained humble about his role in the movie making process, attributing much of the film’s success to the Marilynne Robinson book that inspired the movie. He even went on to say that only about 10 percent of the screenplay was actually written by him.

Forsyth gave a lot of credit to the actress Lahti as well, saying that she was the reason the two young nieces had such good performances.

“It’s a wonderful thing and a natural thing for an actress to do because she was out there alone with these two untrialed, wild animals,” he said. “She’s in front of the camera and I am behind the camera and so Christine decided instinctively to control what was going on out there on a daily basis.”

Lahti continued to interact and joke with the audience during the answer period and received a lot of laughs and applause. Those in attendance seemed to agree with Lahti’s views on the character, applauding her and complimenting the point of the movie.

There was a lot of praise for the original book as well and many audience members had read and scrutinized it in comparison to the actual film.

Even though Roger Ebert was not in attendance a clip was shown from a 1987 review where he spoke about why he loved the film.