Suicide may be painless, but in the world of black comedies, it’s the cleaning up afterwards that really hurts. After her hesitant Sylvia Plath biopic, director Christine Jeffs has latched on to a solid if unexceptional script by first-time writer Megan Holley, focusing on two sisters who set up a business to disinfect crime scenes in a New Mexico backwater.
Played by Enchanted’s Amy Adams, Rose Lorkowski is an ex-cheerleader and now single mother whose dismal domestic situation is not helped by looking out for her feckless sister Norah (Young Victoria’s Emily Blunt). Throw in Steve Zahn as Rose’s married lover Mac, and Alan Arkin playing the same kind of grouchy grandpa as in Little Miss Sunshine, and Sunshine Cleaning has performers perfectly qualified for a misfit comedy.
Where Jeffs and Holley mess up, however, is in the details; the bile and blood-soaked aftermath the sisters frequently have to clean up is simply too icky to generate laughs, while a subplot involving Norah’s lesbian attraction to the daughter of a suicide victim is poorly developed. Admirers of SherryBaby, Waitress and other small-town tragicomedies will want to take the time to salvage some well-tuned performances here; Adams shines in a blue-collar setting, playing off Blunt’s amusingly sullen posturing, and Arkin is reliable as ever.
(15) 91min. General release from Fri 26 Jun.
Reviewed by List Uk
Amy Adams and Emily Blunt play two sisters who stumble into the crime scene cleanup business, with disastrous results. Aiming to be a smart, quirky comedy with a hard edge, the film lacks the emotional sophistication it needed to reach the finish line, but it does offer a few good moments thanks to performance value. Alan Arkin and Steve Zahn co-star.
Starring: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin and Steve Zahn.
Rating: Two stars out of five
Contrived quirkiness can be as awkward and cringe-inducing as bad acting. It’s like watching a swimmer tread water with one arm or a figure skater land a triple toe-loop fanny first: Everything starts to look harder than it really should be. Continue reading Review: Sunshine Cleaning
It’s rare that we stumble upon an indie film that we really hate. Admit it: sometimes they’re just so eccentric that we either have to like indie films for their originality or we’re so awestricken by their philosophical depth that we’re somehow tricked into liking them. However, with “Sunshine Cleaning,” the realness expressed through the plot as well as the acting needs no mind games to win over its viewers.
Sisters Rose (Amy Adams) and Norah Lorkowski (Emily Blunt) find themselves unhappy, to say the least, still living in the small town they grew up in. Rose, the older of the two and former head cheerleader of her high school, lives the typical single mom life, working at a dead-end job, cleaning the homes of those more affluent than her in order to support her ever peculiar son, Oscar. Continue reading There’s a Bright Spot in “Sunshine Cleaning”
The movie around them has problems, but Amy Adams and Emily Blunt put on a first-class acting workshop in “Sunshine Cleaning.”
In Christine Jeffs’ dour indie dramedy, they play Rose and Norah Lorkowski, Albuquerque siblings who aren’t handling adulthood very well.
The oldest, Rose (Adams), works for a housecleaning service and struggles to keep a roof over herself and her young son, Oscar (Jason Spevack). The kid is just plain weird — he’s about to be kicked out of elementary school for licking his teacher’s leg. Continue reading 3 Stars: ‘Sunshine Cleaning’: Talent brightens up the gloom
IT’S A LITTLE hard at first imagining such vibrant actresses as Amy Adams and Emily Blunt playing loser sisters in the offbeat dramedy “Sunshine Cleaning,” but they have you believing in their characters even if the rest of the film is a stretch.
“Sunshine Cleaning,” directed by Christine Jeffs (“Sylvia”), begins with a bang: A suicide splatters himself all over a sporting-goods store. Mac (Steve Zahn), the Albuquerque, N.M., cop investigating, notices how much the cleaning company charges to tidy up and mentions it to Rose (Adams), his former high school sweetheart with whom he’s now having an affair. Continue reading Review: Adams, Blunt handle reeking havoc in ‘Sunshine Cleaning’
Despite indelible performances as Anne Hathaway’s tormentor in “The Devil Wears Prada” and as Tom Hanks’ seductress/underwear model in “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Emily Blunt remains a household-name-in-the-making probably because she’s such a chameleon.
But the star, as they say, is on the rise: The London-born actress can now be seen as a savvy publicist in “The Great Buck Howard”; as Amy Adams’ lost-soul sister in “Sunshine Cleaning”; and, soon, as “The Young Victoria.” We recently spoke with the 26-year-old actress: Continue reading Actress Emily Blunt: A star who’s about to be born