Sunshine Cleaning

Sunshine Cleaning

(2009)

Kiwi director Christine Jeffs (Rain, Sylvia) makes her American debut with this comedy drama. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Sunshine Cleaning centres on Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams), once the high school cheerleading captain who dated the quaterback, now a thirty something single mother working as a maid. Her sister Norah (Emily Blunt), is still living at home with their dad Joe (the brilliant Alan Arkin), a salesman with a lifelong history of ill-fated get-rich-quick schemes.... More

Desperate to get her son into a better school, Rose persuades Norah to go into the crime scene clean-up business with her to make some quick cash. In no time, the girls are up to their elbows in murders, suicides and other grisly situations.Hide

Flicks Review

The producers of indie smash hit Little Miss Sunshine return with their latest project, this time directed by local girl done good, Christine Jeffs (Rain). It sets out to tell a funny story set in a world of personal despair and successfully walks that cinematic tight rope, finding just the right balance of dark laughs and feel good drama.

Its quirky, eccentric brand of humour and outlandish premise could have easily missed the mark if not for the efforts of the women involved. Amy Adams (Junebug) is incredible and elevates every scene she is in, shifting smoothly between the tragic and comical in the blink of an eye and solidifying her claim to being Tinseltown’s most versatile, consistent actress. Meanwhile, Emily Blunt delivers her best big screen performance to date and Jeffs’ emotionally sensitive direction never lets the focus leave the increasingly lovable characters and the maturation that underpins their personal journeys. Alan Arkin has a limited role but milks his grizzly character for all the laughs it’s worth.

It may not be the uber-indie crossover smash that Little Miss Sunshine was but it features the same knowing humour and emotional understanding of marginal characters. Plus, the Amy Adams master class makes for a great cherry on top of this perfectly sweet (but not sickly) piece.


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 6 ratings, 7 reviews
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BY BrionyJae superstar

This film is just one of those hidden gems, that if you haven't heard about it, it's less likely that you'll seek it out to watch. But honestly? It's definitely worth it. More than anything, I like the way that the themes and messages aren't forced down your throat, but subtly placed around, waiting for us to figure things out. Emily Blunt and Amy Adams both do a fantastic job, creating really compelling characters that we can connect with. Really well put together film :)


OK

BY Mark superstar

Wanted to like this a lot, but only found it OK although girls like it a lot. The director forced some scenes through far too quickly, probably to shorten screen time, so a lot of it is more disjointed than it should have been. Bet a real good scene or two end up in the DVD deleted scenes.


BY Bob superstar

I wonder who wrote the script - the cleaners?


BY Marty superstar

The screen presence of the three leads, and the subtle and orderly direction, help pull the movie out of what may have otherwise been an ordinary picture.


BY Jude nobody

A film which deserves a standing ovation. Played on all the emotions. A must see!!!


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The Press Reviews

72% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • All in all, it's a mess, and much as Ms. Blunt pouts, Ms. Adams twinkles, and Mr. Arkin growls, there's nothing they can do to clean it up. Full Review

  • With Arkin's cantankerous fatherly presence casting a shadow over proceedings, it's a cinematic crime to let Sunshine Cleaning languish in unsatisfactory-ending land, but that is precisely what happens. Full Review

  • Sunshine Cleaning gets an A for Amy Adams. Injecting some heartfelt, three-dimensional zest into the wispy, two-dimensional story, she spares this copycat indie’s blushes and scores a winning combo with Blunt. Full Review

  • Director Christine Jeffs, who previously helmed "Rain" and "Sylvia," tries to strike a balance between the yarn's dark currents and offbeat comedy, but the result is often uneasy, with the humor receding as things progress. Full Review