Sunshine Cleaning (2008) Review

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Sisters Rose and Norah have had a strained relationship for years, their mother committed suicide when they were young and this put pressure on their father Joe. They set up a cleaning business together, but not a normal one clean up after crime scenes, suicides and deaths!

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Rose used to be very popular in her High School years but nothing has really been going right for her in more recent times as she is struggling to raise her 7 year old son who has shown strange behaviour and removed from school. She then sees it her duty to raise enough money to send him to a private school. She is having an affair with Mac who is married, they were high school sweethearts and he is quite happy having it all as she struggles with nothing.

Norah seems to just be completely out of control of her life and takes drugs quite often. With no prospects she joins Rose when she is told about cleaning crime scenes, suicides and deaths in houses by Mac of all people. They start and they really had no idea about protective equipment and how to dispose of the waste in the correct manner. With a little bit of research and meeting Winston in his shop, they start to look the part at least.

We knew that everything was not going to be straight forward though, the sisters really don’t seem to have much look at all. Everything seems to constantly be against them and that is something we know will just mess things up eventually. We get plenty of funny moments with the cleaning but it also reaches deep for some emotional moments as well. Looking into the effects of suicide on those left behind and it really does have a few hard hitting moments. Especially the scene with the old woman, I found that to be heartbreaking in all honesty.

I found Sunshine Cleaning to be a lovely hidden gem, which was a lot more emotional than I ever expected. Considering Amy Adams and Emily Blunt are in the leading roles with terrific support as usual from Alan Arkin. Which did make me wonder why I had not made the effort to watch this sooner. Amy Adams really is a fantastic actress and takes on this role so effortlessly. Works very well with Emily Blunt who really can hold the scene. Alan Arkin is a true scene stealer, he is given some funny moments as well as some emotional moments that are unexpected.

Addressing many different issues throughout and even going as far as Oscar being called a bastard at school and being unsure to why and what that means. That is another interesting part of the story as well considering he seems to be autistic although it is not completely looked into or given that name. We are pretty much left to work that one out in terms of the school and his behaviour. But the intelligence which is shown when he is with his grandfather.

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