Sunshine Cleaning


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Festival Year

2008 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Jason Spevack, Steve Zahn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Alan Arkin

Non-Cast Credits

Christine Jeffs, Megan Holley, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, Glenn Williamson, Jeb Brody, Robert Dohrmann, John Toon, Heather Persons, Joseph T. Garrity, Alix Friedberg


With a spirit and charm as seductive as its stars, Sunshine Cleaning is a delightful comedic drama that offers a distinctive and authentic take on the story of two people striving to better their lives. Expertly conceived and executed by New Zealand native Christine Jeffs, Sunshine Cleaning is fueled by the enormous appeal of Amy Adams and Emily Blunt as two sisters who, in their effort to escape the malaise and general shabbiness of their day-to-day existence, undertake a very specialized business: cleaning up the blood and body parts at various crime scenes and suicide sites.

Like any enterprise in this modern world, the "biohazard removal business" entails regulations and practices that two basically unsophisticated people need to learn. And coming, as they do, from a family whose parents prepared them for little�a mother who departed early and a father (played by the wonderful Alan Arkin) whose constant search for get-rich-quick schemes avails them little that's tangible�only makes things more complicated. This is a classic American tale, both in the sisters' quest for social mobility and their relentless pursuit of individual dreams. Sunshine Cleaning is delightful independent filmmaking that depicts the desires of ordinary people in an extraordinary way.


Geoffrey Gilmore (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.