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TIFF: The Good House

Hildy Good (Sigourney Weaver) knows the town of Wendover, MA like the back of her hand. She’s one of top real estate agents for the community, has lived there most of her life and co-exists her her ex-husband, her two daughters and her new neighbor Rebecca (Morena Baccarin). The problem with Hildy is that she’s a raging alcoholic. A functional one but still raging. Her family stages an intervention and while Hildy agrees to get better she just continues to get worse. While her business flails and her blackouts become more frequent, she enlists the help of her ex Frankie (Kevin Kline) to help her with a particularly daunting project. As Hildy rekindles an old flame, she has to come to terms with her deeply rooted problems before everything in her life falls apart.

“I was born three drinks short of comfortable.”

Hildy Good

Based on the novel by Ann Leary and directed by Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky, The Good House is a solid drama with well-drawn characters and a decidedly classic feel. Sigourney Weaver is absolutely enthralling as Hildy. Both Weaver and Kevin Kline play against type in roles that are really just so interesting to watch on screen and not readily available to actors their age. Every character seems fully realized even the bit players which is an impressive feat.

I wasn’t sure at first about having the protagonist break the fourth wall and narrate to the audience but after a while I got accustomed to it. There is also a light fantastical element that fits well with Hildy’s story and becomes an important plot point later on.  While the movie was shot in Nova Scotia, it did still have a distinctly New England vibe.

Notes to add: Wendover, MA is fictional but seems to represent a North Shore town like Beverly, MA. Most of the characters are white with the exception of Asian and Latinx characters.

The Good House is distributed by DreamWorks and recently premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.

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