Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

There's good to be found in just about every situation. That's the sort of lesson films like Sunshine Cleaning are mean to teach you. It comes from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine, a film I haven't seen but am reliably informed has the same sort of themes.

Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams), in an attempt to elevate herself from her house cleaning job, enlists the help of her bohemian, drifter sister Norah (Emily Blunt) to set up her own business: Sunshine Cleaning. The catch being that it is a very specialised business, electing to clean up crime scenes and other messy death sites, simply because the money's good and Rose needs it to get her son into a decent school.

With the help of an eccentric father (Alan Arkin) and new found friend in the business Winston (Clifton Collins Jr), a man with one arm, you have a traditional indie movie cast of broken or downtrodden but endearing. That's the stick here: Sunshine Cleaning isn't exactly an original film that's going to take anyone by surprise but it has a good heart. Adams and Blunt have great on screen chemistry and develop a relationship that feels like you are genuinely watching two sisters work through their issues with each other and the rest of their family as the movie goes on. Emily Blunt in particular is just perfect as Norah. She's the sort of "cool aunt" character that in reality is actually kind of a fuck up but you kind of love her for it in the whole Fight Club "she is free in all the ways you are not" kind of way. I love characters like that, both in real life and film. There's just something about people who are honest about what they are, even if it's a bit broken, that I can't help but admire.

Sunshine Cleaning was never going to be a massive box office smash or clean up at the Academy Awards. But if you like your comedy dramas to have a bit of a dark edge to the comedy and a lot of heart to the drama you couldn't really go wrong with a film like Sunshine Cleaning.

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