Academy Awards 2006 -
Best Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt
Academy Awards 2006 -
Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 07/01/2006
"[T]his is a comic gem, uproarious and heartfelt at the same time....Alan Arkin gives an Oscar-caliber performance..."
Rolling Stone - 08/10/2006 3 stars out of 4 -- "[S]omething wonderful: a scrappy human comedy that takes an honest path to laughs and is twice as funny and touching for it."
Total Film - 10/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "[S]martly and sympathetically executed....Feelgood fun for all the dysfunctional family."
Uncut - 10/01/2006 4 stars out of 4 -- "[W]hat makes this one fly is its warmth. LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE is a first-class love-letter to a family of losers."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2006
"The perfect casting makes for some exceptionally confident comedy....With accessible humour and universal themes..."
Rolling Stone - 12/28/2006 Ranked #9 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2006" -- "It's hilarious, heartbreaking and achingly true."
Ultimate DVD - 03/01/2007 5 stars out of 5 -- "Full of eccentric but believable characters, witty dialogue and pitch-perfect performances....Touching, hilarious and quirky..."
Wall Street Journal - 04/02/2010
"A dysfunctional-family comedy with a difference -- the function progresses from dys to full and loving."
Picked up after a well-received showing at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE is a low-budget comedy about a family road trip from Albuquerque to California. The story begins when young Olive (Abigail Breslin) is given a shot at the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, and manages to coerce her family into driving west in their worn-down VW van. Olive's father, Richard (Greg Kinnear), takes charge of the trip, while her mother, Sheryl (Toni Collette), brother Dwayne (Paul Dano), uncle Frank (Steve Carell), and eccentric grandfather (Alan Arkin) all come along for the ride. What follows resembles a budget-stricken version of PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES: seemingly endless (and hilarious) mishaps befall the family as they wind their way across the country. Couple this with the witty interplay between a well-drawn set of dysfunctional characters, and that's the LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE formula in a nutshell; all the audience needs to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.
The grainy texture of co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris's film may initially startle viewers unaccustomed to the indie film world. But its a testament to the cast and crew's efforts that the limitations imposed on the filmmakers are long forgotten by the end of the film. Any concerns about visual murkiness give way to belly laughs and bemusement as the road trip ends and the beauty pageant begins. Likely to have a broad appeal, Dayton and Faris's film resembles a version of NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION directed with the pithy eye of Todd Solondz (WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE), and it's to the movie's credit that it manages to successfully marry these two seemingly disparate worlds.
Take a hilarious ride with the Hoovers, one of the most endearingly fractured families in comedy history.
Father Richard (Greg Kinnear) is desperately trying to sell his motivational success program... with no success. Meanwhile, "pro-honesty" mom Sheryl (Toni Collette) lends support to her eccentric family, including her depressed brother (Steve Carell), fresh out of the hospital after being jilted by his lover. Then there are the younger Hoovers - the seven-year-old, would-be beauty queen Olive (Abigail Breslin) and Dwayne (Paul Dano), a Nietzsche-reading teen who has taken a vow of silence. Topping off the family is the foul-mouthed grandfather (Alan Arkin), whose outrageous behavior recently got him evicted from his retirement home. When Olive is invited to compete in the "Little Miss Sunshine" pageant in far-off California, the family piles into their rusted-out VW bus to rally behind her - with riotously funny results.
Source: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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