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Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 17 April 2009 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Christine Jeffs

Writer:

Megan Holley
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Popularity
4,695 ( 474)
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Adams ... Rose
Emily Blunt ... Norah
Alan Arkin ... Joe
Jason Spevack ... Oscar
Steve Zahn ... Mac
Mary Lynn Rajskub ... Lynn
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Winston
Eric Christian Olsen ... Randy
Paul Dooley ... Sherm
Kevin Chapman ... Carl
Judith Jones Judith Jones ... Paula Datzman-Mead
Amy Redford ... Heather
Christopher Dempsey ... Gun Shop Suicide
Vic Browder ... Gun Shop Owner
Ivan Brutsche 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cong Ty Lau Chui See more »

Filming Locations:

New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$219,190, 15 March 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,062,558, 9 July 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,174,377
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eric Christian Olsen filmed several scenes as Norah's boyfriend Randy, and most of them were cut. He only appears in the party scene, where Norah says "he's not my boyfriend" and when he and Norah have sex as she sees a news report about an accident. See more »

Goofs

When 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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Alternate Versions

Amy Adams brief topless scene has been censored in the US home video releases. Those frames are zoomed in slightly to omit the nudity where as the framing is left intact on releases outside of the US. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.169 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Esperanza
Performed by Xocoyotzin Herrera
Written by Daniel Indart and María Amparo Escandón (as M.A. Escandón)
Courtesy of Latin Music Specialists
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A slice of pecan pie
22 March 2009 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Ahhh, the first 2009 script (by Megan Holley) that has the depth, nuances and multiple sub-plots that keep me addicted to movies. Sure one can view this as a simple story of the emotionally struggling sisters who start a bio-hazard clean-up company to connect not just with each other, but also with those who have been the victim of a profound event involving a loved one. It works just fine on that level.

Of course, I never make things that easy. For this viewer, I was absorbed in the connection the sisters had to their dead mother. The quest for a glimpse of her one movie of the week performance as a waitress had the sisters trained to stop in their tracks whenever a "waitress" scene appeared on TV. The sisters are played exceedingly well by the extraordinarily talented Amy Adams and Emily Blunt. Their performances lift a really good script to greatness.

For most movies, that would be plenty. Not here. Director Christine Jeffs ("Sylvia") gets to play with Alan Arkin as the always scheming father, a quick commentary on the disgusting "solution" of public schools tendency to require medication on less than robotic kids, emotionally empty relationships, and the absolute need of people to connect with others.

The fine acting continues with Steve Zahn as the former high school hero turned local cop, whom Adams' character has maintained a long term "bond". Trouble is Zahn's character picked someone else to marry. Clifton Collins Jr adds a wonderful dimension as Adams' possibly new prospect. Mary Lynn Rajskub is just plain fascinating as the lonely lady Blunt thinks she is helping.

Being promoted as from the creators of "Little Miss Sunshine", this one offers up a nice story complimented by many quirks that make it stand apart from the masses. Hopefully it will find wider distribution as we can never have enough top notch story telling.


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