Friday, 8 January 2016

Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

Sunshine Cleaning sees the producers of indie hit Little Miss Sunshine deliver another story of a dysfunctional family whose expectations of life may not have been met, but it doesn't stop them from hoping and persevering.

Amy Adams stars as Rose Norkowski; once the most popular girl in high school with a seemingly bright future ahead of her, she is now a single mother who works as a maid and is having an affair with former school sweetheart now cop (Steve Zahn) who is, rather awkwardly, married to one of her old cheerleading chums. Her sister Norah (Emily Blunt) meanwhile is also a bit of a screw-up; she can't hold down a job, she's fond of partying and 'tressling' - climbing up the girders of railway bridges and screaming up at the passing trains - and still lives at home with their wheeler-dealing father played by Alan Arkin. Determined to make some cash when her 7-year-old son is expelled from school for licking his teacher's leg, Rose decides to enter the lucrative field of crime-scene cleanup, recruiting the squeamish Norah to help.

What follows is a nice, sweet indie film with a lot of heart and some unexpected depth. It takes a (morbidly) fascinating subject of sudden 'messy' death and weaves around it a tale about a family discovering themselves once more and improving their life overall. It may not have hit the same heights as Little Miss Sunshine, and it may have benefitted from a tighter script, but you won't have a bad time watching this, thanks largely to its two leading ladies who make for an engaging and convincing pair of siblings.

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