Rating: R (language, some disturbing images)
Genre: Drama – comedy
The verdict: Loved
The gist:Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) was a high school sweetheart – the cheerleading captain who dated the quarterback. Now she is a single mother; the “other” woman. When her son (Jason Spevack) is expelled from school, Rose realizes she needs more than what she makes as maid. Following a suggestion by her lover (Steve Zahn), she starts a specialized cleaning service – Sunshine Cleaning. Together she and her younger sister Norah (Emily Blunt) erase the traces of murders, suicides, and other unpleasantsituations while her son helps their father (Alan Arkin) on his get-rich-quick schemes. Along the way they will realize that life may be messy, it may not turn out as you had hoped, but with a little cheer – and a lot of work – it is worth the living.
My take: Sunshine Cleaning is a charming story of life – and the beauty amid the ugliness. The screenplay (Megan Holley) is bright and original – boasting just enough humor to get through the rough spots. While there are themes aplenty, none of them are overplayed. Christine Jeffs’ direction is deft and smooth – creating a film that is at once slice of life and entertaining. To cap it all off, this film boasts a brilliant cast of actors and actresses. Each fit his/her role perfectly – portraying characters that remain endearing, despite their flaws. Clifton Collins, Jr., for instance, infuses pure heart into the character of Winston, the manager of the cleaning supply store. He may be a minor character, but he is not easily forgotten. Together the cast and crew prove it’s not what you have or haven’t that makes you great – it’s what you put into it.
An aside: In case you didn’t get it from the above review, I would highly recommend this film. Being independent, it may be a bit harder to come by. But take the time to seek it out – it will be worth the effort!