Housekeeping for Beginners (2023) Venice Film Festival 2023

September 6th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Goran Stolevski  | Cast: Anamaria Marinca, Alina Serban, Samson Selim, Vladimir Tintor, Dzada Selim, Mia Mustafa, Sara Klimoska, Rozafa Celaj, Ajshe Useini

Modern families come in all shapes and sizes and none more so than the one in Housekeeping for Beginners that started with two mothers at its helm.

Macedonian born Goran Stolevski, best known for his award-winning debut You Won’t Be Alone, plunges us into a maelstrom of mixed emotions, tears and recrimations in this free-flowing melodrama that sees Dita (Anamaria Marinca), a reluctant and harried ‘mum in law’, suddenly forced to bring up her girlfriend’s two unmanageable daughters: cheeky upstart Mia and troubled Vanesa, a teenager going on 40!).

So life is what happens when you’re making plans, as the phrase goes. And to make matters worse Dita, a cultured and intelligent individual, is pushed to the limit, and we really a palpable sense of panic for her in this hair-raising set-up, where she also tolerates a marriage of convenience with (Vladimir Tintor) who is gay but needs papers to stay in the country.

A battle of wills ensues as the three continue at loggerheads captured by Naum Doksevski’s pin-sharp frenzied camerawork that takes us up close and personal to this unlikely family fighting to stay together through force of circumstance rather than compatibility and desire. MT

VENICE FILM FESTIVAL | HORIZONS 2023

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