Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Sunshine Cleaning

The family's a bit of a mess. Rose, the older responsible sister, starts a biohazard cleaning service on the advice of her boyfriend, a married cop, her high school sweetheart. But she doesn't know anything about the business, which doesn't stop her. She enlists her ne'er-do-well sister, Norah, to help her clean up some of the most godawful messes you've ever seen, often in the middle of a crime scene. Rose's son, Oscar, was thrown out of grammar school for odd behavior, and she needs money for private school. Her father is involved in daily buy-low, sell-high to local markets commercial ventures, often without thinking the idea through. And in the meantime, she's got a high school reunion-type wedding shower looming, women who have done so much better materially than she has.

This movie has all the look of a small, independent film -- filmed in New Mexico, not a lot of money put on the screen. Except for the cast, which is wonderful. Amy Adams fits this one in between Doubt and Julie and Julia, and made an interesting choice as Rose, the woman who doesn't seem to be able to control anything in her life. Emily Blunt, the British secretary in The Devil Wears Prada, plays her sister, a sister whose growth seems stunted by the suicide of their mother. And Alan Arkin plays the father with both comic and dramatic sensibility as only he can.

It's a nice little movie, no car crashes mind you, but enough going on with these characters that makes you wonder how things are going to work out. And they do, somehow. Amidst Rorschach-like blood splatters, the sisters find out a lot about each other, and their own lives.

Thumb's up.


At 5:08 PM, Blogger Adar said...

I enjoyed your review almost as much as I enjoyed the movie -- a LOT. I wonder what project Amy Adams will choose next?


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