6.9/10
63,120
138 user 193 critic

Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 17 April 2009 (USA)
In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, a mom starts an unusual business -- a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service -- with her unreliable sister.

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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joe
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Mac
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Randy
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Sherm
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Judith Jones ...
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Heather
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Gun Shop Suicide
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Gun Shop Owner
Ivan Brutsche ...
Above and Beyond Worker
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Storyline

A family. Rose and Norah, in Albuquerque, lost their mother when they were young. Rose is responsible - a housecleaner, raising her seven-year-old son Oscar. She's also having an affair with Mac, a married cop, her high-school sweetheart. Norah can't hold a job. Their dad, Joe, is quirky. When Oscar is expelled for odd behavior, Rose wants to earn enough to send him to private school. Mac suggests she clean up after crime scenes, suicides, and deaths that go undiscovered for awhile. Rose enlists Norah, and Sunshine Cleaners is born. Norah bonds with the dead, Rose finds out that it's a regulated business, and complications arise. Can a family marked by tragedy sort things out? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

life's a messy business.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, disturbing images, some sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cong Ty Lau Chui  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$219,190 (USA) (13 March 2009)

Gross:

$12,055,108 (USA) (3 July 2009)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filmmakers have said in interviews their story is based on a 2001 National Public Radio "All Things Considered" report about two women in the Seattle suburbs who started a biohazard removal/cleaning service. They are best friends, not sisters. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Norah and Lynn are at the party, Norah passes the joint to a guy next to Lynn. She does not get it back, but she can be seen smoking it in the following shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Talking Deer Head: Attention all fellow deer. If you find deer feed in the middle of the forest, be a bit suspicious.
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Soundtracks

Girl from Ypsilanti
Written and Performed by Daniel May
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/MasterSource
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Illuminating as sunshine, this film is a sharp, sweet look at the working class
8 April 2009 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) was once a popular cheerleader and a person of envy, back in those high school years. However, she has made some questionable choices since then and now works as a home cleaner to support herself and her young son, Oscar. She does a have a back-up system in her wheeler-dealer father, Joe (Alan Arkin) and in her frequently out-of-work younger sister, Norah (Emily Blunt), if she needs babysitters. She calls upon the eccentric Norah often, especially so that she, Rose, can have a late-night tryst with a married policeman, Mac (Steve Zahn). Ouch, she is still going in the wrong direction, it seems. However, Mac does give her a work tip. If she could get into the "crime scene" cleaning business, she would be pulling in large bucks, as removing blood stains is big stuff. Receiving some leads, Rose does begin to get some assignments, like cleaning up after suicide victims and folks that die in their slovenly homes. Reluctantly, Norah agrees to help and "Sunshine Cleaners" is born. But, with Oscar still having trouble in school and with Mac continuing to string her along in the love department, will Rose really rise above her present circumstances? This is a fine film about people who work hard and get nowhere. First, the cast is great, with Adams, Blunt and Arkin delivering terrific performances, ones worthy of honors. Blunt, especially, is a treasure as the unconventional woman, haunted by past circumstances, and having trouble fitting into "modern" existence. The lesser actors are also nice, but Zahn is, unfortunately, given no chances to show off his comedic touch. The setting in New Mexico is also lovely, while the costumes and look of the film are likewise wonderful. That said, special mention should also go to the very fine, sharply worded script and the secure direction. This is a heart-grabbing story, with unusual elements and unsettling realities. If you love films that are not of the typical, churn-em-out variety, this one is definitely a worthy choice. It is as illuminating as sunshine and as touching as they come.


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