Saturday, 23 October 2010

Film Review: SUNSHINE CLEANING (2008)

Director: Christine Jeffs
Running time: 88 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK release date: 26th June 2009

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 23rd October 2010.


The title of this movie gives very little away. We know it’s about a cleaning company, but that’s about it. Well, the company specialises in crime scene clean-ups. That’s all the mess that’s left after the body has been removed and the police have finished their investigation. This engaging independent film tells how two sisters in New Mexico got into the business and what happened as a consequence.

The sisters in question are Rose and Norah Lorkowski. Rose has a son, Oscar and Norah still lives with their father, Joe. Oscar gets expelled from school and Rose has to make more money to get him into another one. She is having an affair with a cop, Mac, who suggests she goes into the lucrative crime scene clean-up business. Having looked into it she ropes Norah in and they start cleaning up after all kinds of deaths, quite badly at first. Then they meet Winston who runs a store that sells cleaning supplies. He takes pity on them and helps them with paperwork and the like. During this tale we learn a lot about the girls and their lives and some of the reasons they turned out the way they did.

This is a pretty well made film which has quite a slow pace. It does tend to wander off on a tangent now and then, but I didn’t find that too distracting. Excellent performances all round, particularly from Amy Adams as Rose, Emily Blunt as Norah and Alan Arkin as Joe. Honourable mentions should also go to; Jason Spevack as Oscar, Steve Zahn as Mac and Clifton Collins Jr. as Winston.

Over all I found the gentle pace of this film quite refreshing. It allows the audience to absorb what’s going on rather than have it thrust at you like some crazy 3D piranha. The film is very much about feelings, sorry, no blood and guts here, unless it’s already on a wall, of course. I guess it will be enjoyed more but female viewers, but still, as a male in touch with his feminine side (she made me say that), recommended.

My score: 7.1/10

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