Movie Review: “Sunshine Cleaning”
Just as the title implies, “Sunshine Cleaning” is about disinfecting a mess, whether it’s a crime scene or a life filled with mistakes. Someone has to do the dirty job that Rose and Norah Lorkowski take on, and redemption could be found in all those gallons of industrial disinfectant.
Rose (Amy Adams) was captain of the cheerleading team in high school, but that was her high point. About 15 years later, she is cleaning houses for a living and continuing a long-standing and fruitless affair with her high school boyfriend Mac (Steve Zahn). Every day, Rose repeats affirmations in a search for elusive self-esteem, but cannot break free of being the cutest, sweetest doormat in Albuquerque.
Like Rose but without the obvious charm, Norah (Emily Blunt) is just a stoned mess who cannot hold down even the worst fast-food job. The Lorkowski sisters and their father Joe (Alan Arkin) all got damaged individually by a family tragedy, leaving each with a life on the margins and the possibility that Rose’s smart-but-troubled son Oscar (Jason Spevack) is on the same path.
But then after one of their depressing motel trysts, Mac, a homicide detective, suggests that Rose could make a lot of money cleaning up after his cases. She wheedles her way into a crime scene with the recently fired Norah in tow, and they start mopping up blood. Of course they’re not certified for this line of work, but the forms and tests can wait.
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