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Sunshine Cleaning (2009)

Amy Adams , Emily Blunt  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt
  • Format: Anamorphic, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Overture Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001UV4XGU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,583 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sunshine Cleaning" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary featuring Writer Megan Holley and Producer Glenn Williamson
  • Sunshine Cleaning: A Fresh Look At A Dirty Business
  • Trailer
  • Sneak Peaks

Editorial Reviews

If Sunshine Cleaning occasionally recalls Sundance sensations like Little Miss Sunshine and Happy, Texas--note the cookie-cutter title and casting of Alan Arkin--it still offers an irresistible charm all its own. They don't look much alike, but Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, who both appeared opposite Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson's War, offer convincing, heartfelt performances as Albuquerque sisters who barely get along (all the more impressive considering Blunt's upper-crust British credentials). Single mother and former cheerleader Rose (Adams), the optimistic and semi-responsible one, cleans houses for a living. Norah (Blunt), the pessimistic and irresponsible one, lives with their father, Joe (Arkin), a loving grandfather and lousy salesman, and attempts to earn her keep as a waitress. When both women find themselves in need of a quick influx of cash, Rose convinces Norah to join her as a crime-scene cleaner, a job her married, police-officer lover (an underused Steve Zahn) assures her pays well. He's right, but the ladies find the work even more emotionally demanding than physically repulsive, especially once they become entangled with Lynn (24's Mary Lynn Rajskub), a lonely blood-bank worker, and Winston (Capote's Clifton Collins Jr.), a one-armed cleaning-supply salesman. Megan Holley's script may be a mite overstuffed, but the pace never lags, and Christine Jeffs' follow-up to Sylvia packs an emotional punch that Little Miss Sunshine--arguably, the funnier film--lacked, even if the Oscar-winning Arkin plays a similarly unconventional grandfather figure. Then again: few do it better. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Stills from Sunshine Cleaning (Click for larger image)

Product Description

Academy Award® Nominee Amy Adams, Golden Globe® Winner Emily Blunt, and Academy Award Winner®Alan Arkin find an unexpected way to turn their lives around in this “colorful, refreshingly quirky comic drama” (Leah Rozen, People). Desperate to get her son into a better school, single mom Rose (Amy Adams) persuades her slacker sister Norah (Emily Blunt) to join her in the crime scene cleanup business to make some quick cash. With the help of their ill-fated salesman father (Alan Arkin), they climb the ranks in a very dirty job, finding themselves up to their elbows in murders, suicides, and… specialized situations. But underneath the dust and grime they also come to discover a true respect for one another, and create a brighter future for the entire Lorkowski family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise movie March 29, 2009
Every review I've read has been quasi-negative but not being one to listen to critics, I took a chance. I was very pleasantly surprised. Depending on why you go to a movie, you may not like this because it is not escapism. It deals with real life issues and things most of us can relate to. I found the movie to be very refreshing and all the characters real to life. The main character is a single mom trying to raise a precocious son. She has to deal with a dead-end relationship and an aging father, an irresponsible sister and a job she hates. How she copes and what she does is more believable than most of the "chick flick" films out today. I think this is one of the better movies in a sea of fluff to spend time and money on. Amy Adams is wonderful and it is always refreshing to see Alan Arkin. Please don't dismiss this film because of iffy reviews. It is worth going to see.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What love is, what love isn't October 15, 2009
I cannot understand those who were bored by this film. I was entranced; good performances all around married to a well-developed plot with skillful writing yielded a totally satisfying experience. As one who did not much care for "Little Miss Sunshine", I was certainly not hoping for a repeat. And did not get it.

The guy at my Blockbuster store said "Oh, good movie. My wife and I watched it three times; we really liked it," when we checked it out. Three times may be a bit much, but it held us. The subplots that go nowhere (the blood bank gal, the problems in school) were, to me, perfect expressions of the fits and starts that life endlessly presents. Not everything gets tidied up; not everyone sees our attempted generosity as we do; not all stories have a satisfactory conclusion. Sometimes people are jerks, bad things happen, and we get stuck. One other pleasure was that the two people who seem to be experiencing the first sparks of interest do not hook up. How nice for a story to allow two lonely people to stay lonely, at least for now.

The other thing I truly liked about this film is that everywhere else Hollywood despises low paid labor and those who perform it. (In the movies that is; in real life, where stars are lining up defending illegal immigration so their lawns, pools, and bathrooms can be cared for at bargain rates, things are different.) But a maid and a small shop owner are treated respectfully. These are hard-working people trying, not terribly successfully, to make a go of things, and the film never laughs at them or insults them or condescends to them. Thank you.

And it wonderfully destroys some idiotic fantasies. Suicide is not glamorous and poetic, not heroic or brave; it is the ultimate act of self.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars bringing sunshine to the darkness... September 8, 2009
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A very enjoyable quirky film which is after alot more then quick easy laughs. This film gets pretty serious at times and what an enjoyable ride it is made easier by the stellar cast. Amy Adams as Rose and her sister Norah, Emily Blunt, tend to Rose's 7 year old son, Oscar and their own cleaning business they are starting. This is no ordinary cleaning business but a crime scene clean up after the bodies have been moved and evidence secured and all that remains are the blood and the remanants of the deceased's life. What I loved about this film is the humanity of the characters, real people, real problems and real situations that have you pulling for them even as you shake your head at their mistakes. Alan Arkin is a joy as the cranky, scheming father of Rose and Norah, he is at a place as an actor that he brings so much of what you expect from him as an actor while also bringing such subtle differences to all his characters that you never feel you're seeing the same character you might've seen in another movie. Amy Adams is a shining revelation of eternal optimism and she has you pulling for her as she tries win over her own demons. Emily Blunt and Jason Spevak as Oscar are wonderfully funny and real. There is a real honesty amidst some outrageously funny stuff that never panders or lectures and never cheats the audience. I only felt cheated at the end when the movie ended. I wasn't ready to leave this family behind and wanted to live with them a little longer. That is a good thing when a movie leaves you wanting more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine Cleaning May 2, 2010
When Rose (Amy Adams) needs to make money to put her son Oscar (Jason Spevack) into a private school when he keeps getting in trouble at his regular school, she turns to her unreliable sister Norah (Emily Blunt) to help her start a bio-hazard removal/ cleaning business. Even knowing that part of their job is to clean up after dead bodies, they still don't anticipate the job being as difficult as it is. From Norah trying to find the daughter of a suicide to Rose dealing with the personal issues of being a single mom and having an affair with a married cop, the sisters deal with life and a job that's out of the ordinary.

Christine Jeffs (Sylvia) and first time screenwriter Megan Holley came up with the idea for Sunshine Cleaning from the story of two women from Seattle they heard on a National Public Radio "All Things Considered" segment. In real life the women are actually best friends who own a biohazard removal/ cleaning service, but naturally with all adaptations things are changed to better move along the story, or to help the audience to identify with the plight of the main characters.

By choosing a pair of regular women to go into a job of this nature, the filmmakers have done a great job of making a movie that has a hint of originality. Also, by choosing a profession of this nature, the movie is also able to deal with elements of life and death, moving on and dealing with the darkness in our past. The movie effectively communicates it's messages while never being overbearing in it's way of dealing with them.

The acting in this movie is great as would be expected from this cast of characters. Twice Oscar nominated Amy Adams (Junebug, Doubt) does a great job as the more stable sister who can't let go of her past.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film!
The chemistry between Amy Adams and Emily Blunt is tragically comic and comically tragic. One of those films you'll want to watch at least once a year.
Published 5 days ago by Jeffrey F. Gold
3.0 out of 5 stars It was an ok movie
It was a very different movie concept. I have seen better & I have seen worse. The occupation these sisters chose is unusual but somebody has to do it. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Sandra Goodman
5.0 out of 5 stars I just love this movie
OK, I usually avoid watching comedy (I have anger issues) but this one is an exception to the rule. I had a janitorial business 40 years ago and the precautions of today were not... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Dom
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I loved this movie. There is a simplicity and relative feeling about it. It's worth a watch. I would recommend to anyone.
Published 1 month ago by Amanda Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars A feel good movie
This movie was funny and emotional and by the end of the movie I was happy. I do think that it is more of a chick flick, my husband laughed but said it was an ok movie.
Published 2 months ago by Angie Luna
3.0 out of 5 stars Good movie - Nothing like Little Miss Sunshine
Enjoyable movie featuring Amy Adams and Emily Blunt as to two very different sisters who open a cleaning business specializing in crime/death scenes. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars sound out of sync
The sound on this DVD is slightly out of sync, enough to be a constant irritant when watching the movie. It's a good movie but an annoying DVD.
Published 2 months ago by R
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
Amy Adams is fantastic in this movie. The plot is cool and original which is hard to come by anymore. I really liked this movie, would watch again in a heartbeat!
Published 2 months ago by Shannon Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Story
Excellent movie - we could not stop watching it !
We wood watch it again and again - so glad we ordered this movie.
Published 2 months ago by Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and Funny
I LOVE this movie! I originally rented it from my local library and knew I had to buy it. I did not see it at any of my local stores, so I bought it from Amazon. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Laura L. Romage
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Aspect Ratio Just Full-screen?
Unless I'm misremembering, this one gave me a choice of wide screen or "full" screen when first loaded. Maybe if you stepped away from the DVD player for a while after loading it, it made the decision for you?
Sep 30, 2011 by avoraciousreader |  See all 2 posts
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