Amy Adams as Rose Lorkowski and Emily Blunt
as Norah Lorkowski, in Christine Jeffs' comedy drama, which expanded to
additional theaters today and
next Friday in the U.S. and Canada. (Photo: Overture Films)
Cleaning Up Amidst The Sunshine Of
Omar P.L. Moore/PopcornReel.com
Friday, March 20, 2009
Christine Jeffs directs "Sunshine Cleaning", a film bearing a few similarities
to the Oscar-winning film
"Little Miss Sunshine" (2006) but with greater depth and character
study. Megan Holley's screenplay is drawn tightly, placing the contrasts
between Rose and Norah Lorkowski, sisters at a crossroads in their lives, with
their father, a widower (Oscar-winner Alan Arkin) looking to start yet another
business to quickly get him back in the money. Rose (Amy Adams) is a
single mother in her thirties and her younger sibling Norah (Emily Blunt) has
absolutely no direction in her life. Once a cheerleader in high school,
Rose leaves her maid job and keeps her head above water with her own post-mortem
cleanup removal business, which has become her only source of income as she
attempts to get her son into a better school in New Mexico. Norah helps
out in the clean-up business, though not always in the most constructive way.
The film weaves flashbacks of Rose and Norah's childhoods to add weight to a
drama sprinkled with comedic moments. There's longing, a flirtation, mild
eroticism, confusion, regret, anguish and sibling rivalry, all combining in a
film that deserves to be better than it actually is. Shown at the Sundance
Film Festival last year, "Sunshine Cleaning" features a great performance by
Clifton Collins Jr. as a hardware store owner who is benevolent and sympathetic
enough to the tough difficult times that Rose faces to help her out. Ms.
"Charlie Wilson's War", "Enchanted") and Miss Blunt ("The Great Buck Howard",
"Charlie Wilson's War",
"Dan In Real Life",
Devil Wears Prada") are great together as sisters, generating a
striking partnership and chemistry. Oddly enough, when they are in
separate scenes they seem to lack a certain je ne sais quoi. Mr. Arkin
neither adds nor subtracts from the film, although "Sunshine Cleaning" could
have used more scenes involving Mr. Collins as well as Mary Ann Rajskub, who
plays a woman who has lost her mother.
"Sunshine Cleaning" has heartwarming moments and sad ones, but when all is said
and done, it's a good film, but one that can be enjoyed just as much on DVD as
on the big screen.
With: Jason Spevack and Steve Zahn.
"Sunshine Cleaning" is rated R by the Motion Picture Association Of America
for language, disturbing images, some sexuality and drug use. The film's
duration is one hour and 42 minutes.
Copyright The Popcorn Reel. PopcornReel.com. 2009. All Rights