There are some stains scrubbing can't remove. For Rose Lorkowski (Adams) and her younger sister Norah (Blunt), the permanent blot haunting their lives is the death of their mother when they were small. Two decades later Rose is a single mom stuck in a dead-end affair with her now-married high school beau (Steve Zahn) and Norah is a goth slacker who makes a practice of not caring too much about anything. But when the siblings start a cleaning service devoted to sanitizing gory crime scenes in Albuquerque, they haltingly begin to make progress at cleaning up their own messy emotional pasts and moving on with their lives.
Amid the dumb comedies and shoot-'em-ups blanketing multiplexes this winter, the fragile Sunshine Cleaning pokes through with the optimistic determination of a crocus. This refreshingly quirky comic drama is colorful yet slight, concerned with regular folks just trying to get by. Giving Sunshine much of its appeal are the terrific performances. Adams deftly turns Rose's perkiness inside out to show her vulnerable underside, while Blunt imbues Norah with the coiled tension of a garden hose right after the water has been turned on. Arkin, playing a minimally kinder, gentler version of his Little Miss Sunshine grandpa, is a gruff joy.
Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter, Sara Paxton | R |
If you ever wanted to know which items in your kitchen—including the garbage disposal and microwave oven—could effectively be used to battle a psycho killer, welcome to The Last House on the Left. A brutal remake of horrormeister Wes Craven's 1972 film of the same name, House tells what happens when three nasty baddies visit the lakeside vacation home of a couple (Goldwyn and Potter), not realizing that the vacationers are the parents of a teenage girl (Paxton) whom the trio's ringleader has just raped and left for dead. And did I mention that it's a dark and stormy night and the power is about to go out? House piles horror flick cliché upon cliché, fairly effectively if this happens to be your cup of crimson-tinged tea.
>• The Fried Green Tomatoes star, 42, directed The Cake Eaters, a drama starring Kristen Stewart.
YOU TASTED FAME AT A YOUNG AGE. WAS IT HARD? Yeah. It took a toll on my relationships. But I'm very happily married now [to actor Jeremy Davidson] and life is great.
DID YOU MOVE AWAY FROM HOLLYWOOD? I came back to New York to do Nine on Broadway in 2003. It's home here.
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH COSTARS LIKE SEAN PENN? It's been hard with time and distance. Watching the Academy Awards is how I catch up!
>The hip-hop star turned actor brightens up every movie he's in, projecting laid-back cool and a sly sense of humor.
1 HE CAN ROCK Playing singer Chuck Berry in Cadillac Records, now out on DVD, he gives the movie a jolt of energy with his droll turn as the rock and roll pioneer.
2 HE CAN'T BE INTIMIDATED Opposite such scene-chewing costars as Jack Black (Be Kind Rewind?) and Bruce Willis
(16 Blocks), he serenely holds his own.
3 HE'S ALWAYS IN ON THE JOKE If there's a wisp of humor to be found in a line, he'll sneak up on it and pounce.
>• Stars of two magical '70s hits, Iake Eissinmann, 46, and Kim Richards, 44, reunite in the new Race to Witch Mountain.
DID KIDS THINK YOU HAD SPECIAL POWERS? "They'd ask, 'Can you make me fly?'" says Richards, a mom of four (and aunt of Paris Hilton
's!) who recently returned to acting.
WHY WERE THE FILMS SO SUCCESSFUL? "They resonated with a generation," says Eissinmann, now a producer-director. "Divorce was on the rise and here's a brother and sister trying to figure out who they are."
YOU WORKED WITH THE LEGENDARY BETTE DAVIS. "On her first day, I knocked on her door," says Richards, "and said, 'Hi, Miss Davis, if you need help with your lines, just let me know.'"
HAVE YOU STAYED IN TOUCH? "I only have one little sister," says Eissinmann, "and that's Kim."
>• Slathered in SPF 45 since becoming vampire Rosalie, Reed, 20, reflects on Twilight as rehearsals start for New Moon.
DOES THE TWILIGHT CAST HANG OUT TOGETHER? Peter Facinelli has poker nights at his house. We play Texas Hold'em. We start with $20 each and end up laughing and eating peanuts. Peter and his wife [Jennie Garth] usually win.
GLAD TAYLOR LAUTNER WILL BE BACK FOR NEW MOON? I'm so proud of him. I've never seen someone his age put in the amount of effort he did [to bulk up and keep his part]. He was at the gym twice or three times a day!
>TWILIGHT HITS DVD!
Beginning at midnight March 21—when stores nationwide are throwing DVD release parties—girls will explode into shrieks when they bring home the hit vampire romance. Luckily, we're fluent in Squeal-ish.
EDWARD CULLEN ENTERS THE CAFETERIA
Reaction: "OMG! OMG! OMG!" Translation: The sound of Twilighters in heat. Fans will have this manic reaction every time Robert Pattinson—who plays the tortured but totally hot vampire—appears onscreen.
THE MEADOW MEET-UP
Reaction: "Awwwwwwwww." Translation: Watch out for swooning tweens! It's the first time fans—and Bella—see Edward's skin sparkle in the sun.
JACOB CONFRONTS EDWARD AT PROM
Reaction: "Ohnohedidn't!" Translation: The love triangle is set for New Moon, in which Taylor Lautner will flex his muscles as Jacob the werewolf.
Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin | R |