Sunshine Cleaning

Director: Christine Jeffs
Screenwriters: Megan Holley

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


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

Screening Details

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