Sunday, March 22, 2009

I really wanted to love Sunshine Cleaning.

Sunshine Cleaning is the first movie of 2009 that's written by and, to some extent, for women, that isn't completely terrible and insulting. Plus, I like Amy Adams and Emily Blunt. So I wanted to support it the weekend that it opened in San Francisco, and I really wanted it to be great. But unfortunately, I was a little bit disappointed. The premise is intriguing and promising: two sisters need money, so they start a business cleaning up crime scenes. And the characters are all very likable and interesting and complex and well-written. And there are plenty of strong, resonant moments. But to me, it didn't feel like it went anywhere. There was so much build up and so much potential, but the payoffs didn't satisfy me at all. Also, Emily Blunt is a good actress, but she is so British. I don't think she really could have or should have done anything differently, but she is just not convincing as a girl from Albuquerque. I couldn't quite suspend my disbelief enough to buy her as Amy Adam's sister. Her voice and her mannerisms and her face are all so clearly English, I don't know how she can possibly get away from that.

But anyway, you should still see it, because it's interesting and it's something different and unusual. And because it's important to support women screenwriters and directors. But be prepared for a low key, character driven narrative. With lots of gore.

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