Friday, 15 January 2010

Sunshine Cleaning: DVD Review

Sunshine Cleaning: DVD Review

Sunshine Cleaning
Released by Madman Entertainment
Rating: M

Cast: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Steve Zahn, Alan Arkin
A film about cracking into the world of crime scene cleaning sounds like an interesting premise - and one which is currently not flooding the silver screen.
Sunshine Cleaning from New Zealand director Christine Jeffs is certainly fresh in places - and irritating in others.
The ever wonderful Amy Adams is Rose Lorkowski, a single mother whose son is forever getting into trouble at school.
Her unreliable sister Norah (Blunt) is flaking from one job to the next - the pair basically want a get rich quick scheme to pull their life out of the mundanity which has befallen them after high school promised so much.
Rose is having an affair with Steve Zahn's cop and he suggests one day there's good money in the forensic clean up business.
Throw in an oddball father (Alan Arkin) and you have pretty much a recipe for some quality screen time. And to a point you do.
But the central characters Rose and Norah (and to an extent Alan Arkin's character) are quite irritating after prolonged exposure - riddled with neuroses and character quirks, which had they been underplayed would have been endearing.
Unfortunately after about 20 minutes, they may get a bit too annoying for you.
Sunshine Cleaning feels in parts a lot like Little Miss Sunshine - which is no bad thing - and it has a lot of humour throughout - Blunt and Adams are good in their respective roles but their characters feel a little too stereotyped at times - Adams' Rose is having a lazy affair with a cop; Blunt's Norah is too kooky (witness her following a daughter whose wallet was found at a crime scene).
And the pair's secretly troubled parental relationship is a story thread which could have been seen coming a mile off.
Overall, Sunshine Cleaning feels a little bit too forced at times - whether that's the fault of the screenplay or the director I'm not 100% sure. It's not a bad film - it's just with such an original premise, it could have been so much more.
Extras: Theatrical trailer, Deleted scenes - not an inspiring selection for a film with such a great central cast.

Rating: 6/10

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