I decided to watch Sunshine Cleaning after doing our top five comfort movie podcast. Corey recommended it as it was her top comfort film. I bought it on Vudu for $7.99 and my wife and I watched it. While I did like the film, it’s not one I see revisiting often. I give Sunshine Cleaning the Decent Watch rating.
Rose (Amy Adams) is a single mom struggling to get by, but now needs to send her son to private school. She starts a business with her sister, Norah (Emily Blunt), removing biohazardous waste and crime scene clean-up.
Hearing Emily Blunt speak without her British accent was odd. She did a good job playing the screwed up sister to Amy Adams blossomed in high school character. The two had some strong chemistry and their tragic back story gave them an odd dynamic. Rose was more like a mother to Norah in many ways and it works well in this story. Rose is a tragic character who is doing everything she can to try and keep her life together.
Her father, played by Alan Arkin, is almost as troubled as Norah. He is constantly starting business ventures that are unlikely to succeed. He helps take care of his grandson, Oscar (Jason Spevack), as Rose and Norah begin their business. There are some sweet moments between father and grandson, and Spevack gives a pretty solid performance.
All the actors do a great job with the film
Rose has almost nothing working correctly in her life when the film begins. She is an unhappy maid, in an affair with her high school sweetheart, and trying to figure out how to take care of her son. The Sunshine Cleaning venture is the first time she seems really happy. It’s her business and she seems proud of it. With the help of Winston (Clifton Collins, Jr.), she begins to legitimize her company.
I think director Christine Jeffs and writer Megan Holley did a pretty great job telling the story. There is a lot of allusion to the backstory of the sisters, and the reveal is pretty powerful. The film manages to bring some heartwarming moments and some tear jerkers as well. It’s one I’m glad I’ve watched as I thought all the performances were really good.