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Sunshine Cleaning

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Product Overview

In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, a mom starts an unusual business -- a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service -- with her unreliable sister.


Studio Lions Gate Home Entertainment
SKU 211190849
UPC 013138003393
UPC 14 00013138003393
Format DVD
Release Date 8/23/2011
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Name Adams,Amy
Link Search Link
Sundance Film Festival (2008) Christine Jeffs, Nominee, Grand Jury Prize
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review "Sunshine Cleaning" starts out as a comedy before gradually re-forming into something darker and even a little tragic. The laughs don't disappear altogether, but they become less overt and frequent, and a layer of quiet despair bubbles to the surface. The main characters are two twenty-something sisters, Rose (Amy Adams) and Norah (Emily Blunt). Less than a decade ago, Rose was the high school cheerleader every girl wanted to be and every guy wanted to be with. Now, she's a single mom who works as a housecleaner to support herself and her seven-year-old son, Oscar (Jason Spevack). Her old boyfriend, Mac (Steve Zahn), married another woman but still enjoys regular motel dalliances with Rose. Meanwhile, the younger Norah still lives with her dad, Joe (Alan Arkin), and evidences neither the capacity nor the enthusiasm to hold a job. She drifts from one part-time position to the next, redefining "reliable" as "when it suits her." When Rose, needing more money than her current employment provides, goes looking for something more lucrative, Mac makes a suggestion: cleaning crime scenes and removing biohazards. The work may be a little gross, but it pays well. So, after a little reluctance, Rose buys into the idea and recruits Norah, and they embark upon a non-traditional janitorial career..."Sunshine Cleaning" premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and it has taken Overture Films more than a year to get this into theaters, which is indicative of how difficult a sell it may be. Certainly, there aren't many comedy/tragedies out there with gore quotients high enough to rival those of horror films. But, while the blood may be off-putting to some, Rose and Norah's company for 90 minutes warrants the concession.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review "Sunshine Cleaning" is a little too sunny for its material. Its heroine, Rose, is a single mom in desperate need of income, trapped in a one-way affair with her high-school beau, who fathered her son but married someone else. Her son is always in trouble at school. Her sister, Norah, is a hard-living goofball. Then Rose starts a new business cleaning up messy crime scenes...Does this sound sunny to you? The material might have promise as a black comedy, but its attempt to put on a smiling face is unconvincing. That despite the work by Amy Adams as Rose and Emily Blunt as Norah, two effortless charmers who would be terrific playing these characters in a different movie. And Alan Arkin is back, and engaging, in what is coming dangerously close to "the Alan Arkin role." He's their father, Joe, forever hatching get-poor-quick schemes...One element does work, and it's off to the side, apart from the rest of the plot. It involves Winston (Clifton Collins Jr.), a one-armed hardware store owner, who baby-sits Oscar in an emergency and provides an oasis of warmth and common sense. You may recall him as Perry in "Capote" (2005). An actor like this works a lot but doesn't always get ideal roles. Now he's beginning to emerge, with seven more films in post-production...You won't have a bad time seeing this film. You may get a little frustrated waiting for it to take off. It keeps heading down different runways. There's a movie here somewhere. Not this one.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 7
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times A smartly done morality tale that couldn't be more in sync with these troubled times.
Lou Lumenick, New York Post This bittersweet comedy is a fine showcase for a pair of distinctive and appealing talents.
Stina Chyn, Film Threat Beneath its morbid exterior, Sunshine Cleaning projects a tender portrait of how people help out others and seek a better life for themselves.

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