6.9/10
65,825
138 user 196 critic

Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

Trailer
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
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Popularity
3,449 ( 1,447)
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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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:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A kiss scene was filmed between Norah (Emily Blunt) and Lynn (Mary Lynn Rajskub) but cut from the finished film. See more »

Goofs

When Rose and Norah clean up after a suicide committed by a "Mr. Davis", they enter a room where several rosaries and a crucifix are hanging on the wall, indicating that the couple is Roman Catholic. Since Catholics believe committing suicide irrevocably sends you to hell, it is extremely doubtful that the husband would commit suicide. 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.
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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

References Centipede (1980) 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

 
Sunshine Cleaning Movie Review from The Massie Twins
12 March 2009 | by GoneWithTheTwinsSee all my reviews

Oddly whimsical for a dark foray into the humorous side of crime-scene clean-up, Sunshine Cleaning amusingly examines the lives of two sisters who attempt to mend the hurt in their personal lives while mopping up the dismal outcomes of others' failed resolutions. Contrasting the sisters' troubles and reconciliation over their mother's tragic death with their desire to find a connection within the "clients" of their peculiar profession, the film succeeds in presenting an engagingly naturalistic drama primarily thanks to some enchanting acting from Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, and the always scene-stealing Alan Arkin channeling his performance from another "Sunshine." Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) finds herself a single mother attempting to support her son Oscar (Jason Spevack) and her unreliable sister Norah (Emily Blunt) while working a mundane job as a maid. Once the head cheerleader in school with plenty of prospects, Rose now has little to show for her years, and while she still sees the former lead football player (Steve Zahn), it is little more than a despondent affair. When Oscar is expelled from public school, Rose takes a job as a bio-hazard crime-scene cleaner to help pay for a private education, and brings Norah on to help in her steadily growing business. As the sisters work to clean up the messes left behind by the chaotic lives of others, they must learn to reconcile their own differences and overcome a troubled past if they hope to prosper in their newfound venture.

Sunshine Cleaning is a deceptively simple slice-of-dysfunctional-life comedy that follows a pattern reminiscent of Five Easy Pieces mixed with Little Miss Sunshine. The characters themselves embody various stereotypes of maladjusted individuals, each graced with enough redeeming qualities that they're relatable instead of contemptible - which is often the opposite in painfully dark comedies. Occasionally the film delves into disturbing complications that seem oddly superfluous, but adds depth to the subplots - reflecting the messiness of life, in the anatomy of a metaphorical crime scene waiting to be cleaned up.

Once again Amy Adams' performance is teary-eyed and sensational, demonstrating her maturity, acting chops and surprising range of emotions that don't seem initially possible with her pleasantly youthful face. Supporting roles by Emily Blunt and Alan Arkin are also noteworthy; Norah creates the missing piece to Rose's overwhelming feelings of responsibility, and their father steals the show with alternating comic relief and desperation for making ends meet. Their performances are genuine and affecting and bring light to a story that is realistically melancholy but unquestionably entertaining.

  • The Massie Twins


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