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Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris (2006)

98min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Greg Kinnear leads the dysfunctional Hoover family on an eventful road trip from New Mexico to California in this sparkling indie comedy. He plays an increasingly desperate motivational speaker whose seven-year-old daughter (Abigail Breslin) has been invited to compete in the "The Little Miss Sunshine" beauty pageant. Also along for the ride, in a clapped-out VW van, are his wife (Toni Collette), father (Alan Arkin), son (Paul Dano) and brother-in-law (Steve Carell). Every role is brilliantly cast, but it's a toss-up for best performance between Kinnear, Arkin (who won an Oscar as a foul-mouthed, junkie pensioner) and Carell - star of The 40 Year Old Virgin - who delivers a more wily turn here as the suicidal Proust scholar. Co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris make an impressive feature debut, skilfully balancing the broader humour (involving mislaid porn and a stashed corpse) with genuinely touching family drama. Occasionally the movie does feel self-consciously quirky, but the pageant scenes in which Breslin struts her stuff are disarmingly funny and bold. This clever swipe at America's obsession with beauty and success will leave you beaming.

Summary

A struggling motivational speaker and his long-suffering wife embark on a disastrous journey across America when their seven-year-old daughter Olive gets the chance to fulfil her dream of competing in a beauty pageant. Along for the ride are her foul-mouthed, drug-taking grandfather, a suicidal uncle, and her sullen teenage brother, who has taken a vow of silence. Comedy drama, with Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Abigail Breslin and an Oscar-winning Alan Arkin.

Cast & Crew

Richard Greg Kinnear
Frank Steve Carell
Sheryl Toni Collette
Grandpa Alan Arkin
Olive Abigail Breslin
Dwayne Paul Dano
Kirby Wallace Langham
Director Jonathan Dayton
Director Valerie Faris
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: 20th Century Fox Guidance: Swearing and drug abuse. Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay Released on: 8 Sep 2006

Comedy Drama

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