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Movie Review: Sunshine Cleaning

Alternate Title: Life is Messy

Story: Wouldn't it be great if the messiness of life could be cleaned up as easily as calling in a toxic waste crew to polish, rub and wax away the trauma and scars that have accumulated while living out our day to day lives? This heartfelt, honest new film directed by New Zealand's Christine Jeffs (Sylvia) and written by Megan Holley made me care deeply about all of these scarred, vulnerable characters.

Poor 30-ish Rose is in a nowhere relationship with a married man, has a seven year old son she is raising alone, a troubled younger sister who cannot hold a job and a father that needs tending as he goes from scheme to scheme trying to earn a dollar. She tries to hold it all together with daily affirmation post-its. Her quiet desperation is infectious.

Rose and her sister start up Sunshine Cleaning, a business that goes in to remove body fluids, toxic debris and biohazard materials after a crime. Messy business indeed.

How Rose and her sister Norah find and seal that special bond that only sisters share is a nice moment to view. The film is not a comedy but has some funny moments that will surely make you smile. The characters are real, the emotions raw and like life, the film does not tie up all of the loose ends. The scars of life's experiences are like the stains in a carpet. They are very hard to remove but when accomplished - it is very satisfying indeed. If you like slice of life films, check this one out.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOW6XXf5dIw

Acting: Amy Adams as Rose, was a gem. I never think I am going to like her very much and then she surprises me. Brava. Emily Blunt as Norah, was equally as engaging and both of these two young women were a treat to watch. Alan Arkin as Joe, the father, played the same character that he has been playing for awhile. I happen t like this character so it did not bother me at all. Jason Spevack as seven year old Oscar was adorable. Steve Zahn as philandering Mac, is always good as was Mary Lynn Rajskub as Lynn and Clifton Collins Jr. as Winston.

Trivia: English actress Emily Blunt was named Best Female Scene-Stealer for her performance in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) by Entertainment Weekly. Her ex-boyfriend Michael Bublé's wrote the hit single Everything for her. She is also on his album Call Me Irresponsible where she sings briefly at the end of the song Me And Mrs. Jones. Amy Adams was born in Italy to American parents Kathryn and Richard Adams, while her father was a U.S. serviceman. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado.

Predilection: None

Critters: A sweet kitty.

Food: Candy Corn, pizza and chocolate cake.

Sex Spectrum: Some simulated fumbling sex.

Blatant Product Placement: Coke

Opening Titles: A nice sequence that introduces us to the two sisters.

Visual Art: The details in the crime scene cleanups were amazing. I got lost in the tchotchkes.

Theater Audience: About 20 popcorn munching viewers

Weather: The weather in Albuquerque was sunny.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 2

Squirm Scale: The blood and gore might bother some but I like all of the CSI TV shows, so I was fine with it.

Drift Factor: I was attentive throughout.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: I welled up a few times.

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Support the Indies. See it on the big screen. For some other films with Sunshine in the title you could rent: Sunshine, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Miss Sunshine, The Sunshine Boys, Sunshine State, California Sunshine, Sunshine Hotel, Everybody Loves Sunshine,  Little Mary Sunshine, A Million Miles to Sunshine, The Sunshine Deli and Grocery, Good Morning, Sunshine, Ray of Sunshine, Walkin' on Sunshine.

Length: 90 minutes