A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cleaning up

Sunshine Cleaning stars Amy Adams and Emily Blunt as two sisters, Rose and Norah, who start up a cleaning service specializing in tidying up crime scenes. Cleverly, the remains of the violent crimes they are scrubbing away, as well as the shell-shocked survivors of those crimes (often, spouses of suicides who are hovering in the background as Rose and Norah clean up) remind the sisters of the tragedies and issues in their own lives.

If there's a small flaw in the film, it's that the sisters, and their father, played by the always engaging Alan Arkin, have too many issues in their lives that need confronting (as well one central tragedy tying them all together). This makes the film a bit too busy. Though not a fatal flaw, I almost felt that all the plot points and character issues could have used a whole season of television, or at least a mini-series, to properly examine them. Still, things never tip over into incoherence or sketchiness.

Sunshine Cleaning has some humor and sexiness that occasionally lighten the violence of the crime scenes and the trials and tribulations going on in everybody's lives. In the end, this decent little film with a quirky premise that you haven't seen a thousand times before makes for an amiable evening of home viewing.

The standard DVD of Sunshine Cleaning features sharp picture and sound, and a couple of cute extra features, including an interview with two ladies who actually run a company that cleans up after crime scenes, and who acted as consultants on the film.

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