(VOD) I didn’t realize this going into HOUSEKEEPING, but it’s an adaptation of Marilynne Robinson’s first novel of the same name. If you aren’t familiar with Robinson, she’s probably better known for her series of GILEAD novels, which examines the small but sprawling matters of a family.
(I’ll note I’ve only read the second novel in the series, HOME, so I may be misrepresenting the series a bit.)
In any case, Bill Forsyth (writer/director of BEING HUMAN and LOCAL HERO) adapted Robinson’s novel, which is a story of two sisters who are abandoned by their mother, then looked after by their aunt, an eccentric with more than a few issues, but not in the cute AUNTIE MAME way. It’s quietly, but mannerly, handled, feeling more like a prestige picture as opposed to an indie piece, but never loses sight of the characters, all of whom are unique and grow and brush against societal and cultural norms in their own way.
I’ll note that the trailer most certainly positions the film as a sort of unconventional wacky comedy. It is not that at all.