sunshine cleaning

Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, and Alan Arkin star is this gritty film about a single mother whose best days were in high-school and who keeps making bad decisions—she’s having an affair with her married high-school sweetheart and cleaning homes of her former schoolmates. When her son is expelled from school, she decides the only solution is private school and starts an unlicensed crime scene cleaning company with her unreliable sister to try to fund the tuition. At times touching, gritty, bloody, and funny, this film focuses on the power of family to pull through in tough times. [us, 2008]

june bug

The premise is simple: big city art-dealer Madeline, goes to meet “down-home” family of new husband George. In a twist on the predictable, the main purpose of the trip is to meet a new artist for her gallery, and the family just happened to be nearby. This small independent film is a secure complex, often comic, story of relations, roots, and folk art, where prejudices on all sides are held up to light. Amy Adams was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Ashley, the hopelessly optimistic, and heavily pregnant sister-in-law who believes family is stronger than just about anything. This seemingly simple film grows on you, just as Ashley does. [usa, 2005]