Welcome to the business and personal website of me, Jan Burch - aka Jan4insight - owner & practitioner of Geo-Glow Consulting. Call me a “Renaissance woman” > My business aims to be your go-to source for holistic energy work and intuitive readings. My creative side makes (and sells!) gorgeous one-of-a-kind handcrafts and fabulously colorful print-on-demand gifts and more. Here at my site, you can find me on the Web, order a reading, learn more about my energy work services, and check in with my occasional musings. Legal stuff: This site uses cookies, and some posts may contain affiliate links. Thank you very much.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunshine Cleaning: Local color, wonderful story and acting

A while back, I posted on how I love to crochet to movies :) I've had some interest from my readers in this subject, so I'd thought I give some reviews now and then on movies I've crocheted by. I'll start with a lovely flick I watched (and crocheted with) last night: Sunshine Cleaning. This thoughtful yet charming indie flick features two sisters, Rose and Norah, who need to earn some good money quick. Rose, a housekeeper, needs to place her son in a better school, and Norah has just been fired from her waitress job. Acting on a tip, they realize there's good money in the field of crime scene clean-up, so they start their own business. Hijinks - along with dark humor, sweetness, and character growth - ensue.

The two sisters are played by Amy Adams (Rose) and Emily Blunt (Norah). They both do a fine and touching job as the sisters overcoming their inherent revulsion at the nature of their work, and then finding the rewards that come from stepping up to the challenge and doing what they have to do. Their lovable and eccentric Dad is played with panache by Alan Arkin. The supporting characters, many of them locals, do a fine job in carrying the movie to its sweet and uplifting finish.

But it's the setting that captivated me: Okay, I'm biased - this movie was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico - my adopted home town. Well, I knew that: New Mexico has a burgeoning film industry, and at times it's hard to drive across town without encountering a film crew in action. What I didn't expect was how well this film captured the true flavor of Burque, as we affectionately call her. Having lived in movie towns big to little, I'm well aware of Hollywood's penchant for butchering the geography of the real places they use for their backdrops.

Not so with this film. It made no bones about its placement in gritty, blue-collar-striving-to-be upscale, Albuquerque. From panoramas of the snow-dusted Sandia Mountains to a favorite Mexican restaurant on east Central Avenue, I knew they were at home in my home town. I even recognized some of the people in the film. My favorite instance came near the beginning, when Norah gets fired after dropping a tray of food. I instantly diner's interior as that of the Lucky Boy restaurant, proudly serving Chinese food and hamburgers since forever. In the film, the restaurant owners come out, reading the Norah the riot act: You're fired! You'red fired! The kick is, it was the REAL owners of the Lucky Boy - a hard-working Chinese couple who are some of the sweetest people on this earth. Having filled up on many a budget-priced plate of their delicious egg foo young, it was especially delightful for me to see and recognize a familiar and favorite place while seeing a new and humorous side of the faces behind the counter.

For me, the film truly captured what I love about Albuquerque, the gritty, bootstrapping, you-can-knock-me-down-but-I'll-get-right-back-up-again core feeling of this place. it's what keeps us going. See Sunshine Cleaning, and get a little of that yourself. Five thumbs up!


~Marge~ said...

Great review, Jan! Good insight and character study ... now I gotta see it!

Beth Howard said...

Yep, this was a movie that wasn't at all what I expected in a very good way - unique, interesting... I just plain dug it.

Lisa @ the Little Green Button said...

I just told my husband we need to NetFlix download and watch...LAST NIGHT! We will need to see this. Sounds like a great movie! tx!

Erica said...

hey! I was totally tryig to decide if I wanted to watch this recently! now I want to check it out! thanks for sharing!


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