6.9/10
66,874
139 user 199 critic

Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 17 April 2009 (USA)
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2:33 | Trailer

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ON DISC
In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, a mom starts an unusual business -- a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service -- with her unreliable sister.

Director:

Christine Jeffs

Writer:

Megan Holley
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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A dealer in "outsider" art travels from Chicago to North Carolina to meet her new in-laws, challenging the equilibrium of this middle class Southern home.

Director: Phil Morrison
Stars: Embeth Davidtz, Alessandro Nivola, David Kuhn
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Adams ... Rose
Emily Blunt ... Norah
Alan Arkin ... Joe
Jason Spevack ... Oscar
Steve Zahn ... Mac
Mary Lynn Rajskub ... Lynn
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Winston
Eric Christian Olsen ... Randy
Paul Dooley ... Sherm
Kevin Chapman ... Carl
Judith Jones Judith Jones ... Paula Datzman-Mead
Amy Redford ... Heather
Christopher Dempsey ... Gun Shop Suicide
Vic Browder ... Gun Shop Owner
Ivan Brutsche Ivan Brutsche ... Above and Beyond Worker
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Storyline

A family. Rose and Norah, in Albuquerque, lost their mother when they were young. Rose is responsible - a housecleaner, raising her seven-year-old son Oscar. She's also having an affair with Mac, a married cop, her high-school sweetheart. Norah can't hold a job. Their dad, Joe, is quirky. When Oscar is expelled for odd behavior, Rose wants to earn enough to send him to private school. Mac suggests she clean up after crime scenes, suicides, and deaths that go undiscovered for awhile. Rose enlists Norah, and Sunshine Cleaners is born. Norah bonds with the dead, Rose finds out that it's a regulated business, and complications arise. Can a family marked by tragedy sort things out? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

life's a messy business.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, disturbing images, some sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cong Ty Lau Chui See more »

Filming Locations:

New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$219,190, 15 March 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,062,558, 9 July 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,174,377
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview, Amy Adams said she felt Steve Zahn gave the best performance in the film. See more »

Goofs

At about 54 minutes, when Oscar is crossing a street, a microphone can be clearly seen on the top left corner of the screen for a few seconds. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Talking Deer Head: Attention all fellow deer. If you find deer feed in the middle of the forest, be a bit suspicious.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Amy Adams brief topless scene has been censored in the US home video releases. Those frames are zoomed in slightly to omit the nudity where as the framing is left intact on releases outside of the US. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Rotten Tomatoes Show: Watchmen/Shuttle/12 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

So Much More
Performed by Amy Ward
Written by Amy Ward and Terry Silverlight
Courtesy of RipTide Music, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Illuminating as sunshine, this film is a sharp, sweet look at the working class
8 April 2009 | by inkblot11See all my reviews

Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) was once a popular cheerleader and a person of envy, back in those high school years. However, she has made some questionable choices since then and now works as a home cleaner to support herself and her young son, Oscar. She does a have a back-up system in her wheeler-dealer father, Joe (Alan Arkin) and in her frequently out-of-work younger sister, Norah (Emily Blunt), if she needs babysitters. She calls upon the eccentric Norah often, especially so that she, Rose, can have a late-night tryst with a married policeman, Mac (Steve Zahn). Ouch, she is still going in the wrong direction, it seems. However, Mac does give her a work tip. If she could get into the "crime scene" cleaning business, she would be pulling in large bucks, as removing blood stains is big stuff. Receiving some leads, Rose does begin to get some assignments, like cleaning up after suicide victims and folks that die in their slovenly homes. Reluctantly, Norah agrees to help and "Sunshine Cleaners" is born. But, with Oscar still having trouble in school and with Mac continuing to string her along in the love department, will Rose really rise above her present circumstances? This is a fine film about people who work hard and get nowhere. First, the cast is great, with Adams, Blunt and Arkin delivering terrific performances, ones worthy of honors. Blunt, especially, is a treasure as the unconventional woman, haunted by past circumstances, and having trouble fitting into "modern" existence. The lesser actors are also nice, but Zahn is, unfortunately, given no chances to show off his comedic touch. The setting in New Mexico is also lovely, while the costumes and look of the film are likewise wonderful. That said, special mention should also go to the very fine, sharply worded script and the secure direction. This is a heart-grabbing story, with unusual elements and unsettling realities. If you love films that are not of the typical, churn-em-out variety, this one is definitely a worthy choice. It is as illuminating as sunshine and as touching as they come.


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