HOUSEHOLD SAINTS (Restoration) – Review by Maitland McDonagh

Revisiting Nancy Savoca’s Household Saints, based on the novel Francine Prose novel about generations of a family in New York’s Little Italy, leaves me in a bad position. First and foremost, I’m not Italian — but to be fair, the Irish aren’t so far removed culturally, starting with the ethos of family before all; as everyone and his brother says, “Irish and the Italians, cut from the same cloth.” And I’ll go along with that except to say that Irish-Americans cut their straying progeny a bit more slack because… Irish. The larger issue for me is the film’s status, starting with lack of inclusion on The New York Times list of best films of 1993. Yes, there were bigger and better publicized movies, but Household Saints’ quiet exploration of what it meant to be a young woman coming of age in an old-school neighborhood tucked into a city in a constant state of reinvention remains sharp, subtle and thoroughly engaging.

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