Sunshine Cleaning is anything but a mess. This movie sparkles and shines thanks to its two leading ladies...Rose, (the outstanding Amy Adams) and Norah (wonderfully played by Emily Blunt). The pair play sisters struggling to keep their lives from spiraling out of control. Rose is a single mother and former prom queen who by day works as maid and by night sleeps with her married high school sweetheart. Meanwhile, her younger sister Norah is a complete slacker who can't hold a job for more than a few days.
To earn extra money for a private education for her seven year-old son Oscar, Rose's detective boyfriend, Mac, suggests she start cleaning up crime scenes. The more gruesome the scene the more money she can make. Rose likes the idea and recruits Norah to help start up the venture and Sunshine Cleaning takes off.
This is also where the movie really takes off. Each job brings another laugh or another tear. One poignant scene has Rose sitting on the porch with an elderly women who just lost her husband. Not a word is spoken but the pain and sympathy the pair share will certainly bring a huge lump to your throat.
While their business becomes very successful and lucrative the sisters continue to struggle with a childhood incident that has left them scarred and dysfunctional, the suicide of their mother. The pair rarely talk about it and can't seem to exorcize the haunting memory of finding her dead body on the kitchen table. Eventually the job seems to become a catharsis as they attempt to work through all of their demons.
I can't say enough about the performances in this movie. Oscar-winner Alan Arkin plays Joe, Rose and Norah's quirky dad, to perfection. Jason Spevack as Rose's precocious son is right on target and 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub is great as an odd blood bank worker who seems to have a thing for Norah. But the real star of this film is Adams. What a run this terrific actress has been on...Oscar nominations in 2009 for playing a nun in Doubt and in 2006 for her portrayal of a chatty southerner in Junebug. Plus, the princess in Enchanted. She seemingly can play any role and do it flawlessly.
So put on your rubber gloves, release those scrubbing bubbles and check out Sunshine Cleaning... it comes very highly recommended.