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Little Miss Sunshine (2006)


Duration 1h 41m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Writers/Script Michael Arndt
Starring Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin, Toni Collette, Steven Carell, Bryan Cranston, Dean Norris,

Elevator Pitch: The Hoovers are a more or less disfunctional Albuquerque family. Richard is a failed motivational speaker, Dwayne is a moody teenager who has taken a vow of silence, Grandpa has been thrown out of his retirement home and the mother’s brother, Frank, has failed to commit suicide, so when Olive wins a place in the Little Miss Sunshine competition in California they need to get to the event. But unable to cover the air fare they are forced to travel in their aged Volkswagon Kombi. When Grandpa dies on route they are faced with difficult decisions and have little chance of arriving in time.

Content: No sex or nudity, but Grandpa snorts some white powder. A lot of scenes as the Volkswagon fails and needs the family to push it to start it and then run along and leap aboard. Some fun with Dwayne’s refusal to speak. At one point he writes “Where’s Olive?”. They have left her behind. Frank talks to Dwayne, Richard tries to revive his failing business, unusual steps are taken to get to the event after Grandpa dies and then there is the competition itself.

A View: This film was well liked and won two Oscars and many other awards. Alan Arkin won Best Supporting Actor. The pre-teen beauty competition is a revelation for those who know nothing about these things. I’m trying to think of a suitable word – disturbing – might do it. Real competitors were used for the film. I saw it in the cinema when it came out and watched it again recently. Worth the price of a download.

Additional info: It was estimated to have cost $8 million and made $100 million worldwide which, judging by the very moderate first weekend, was due to word of mouth promotion.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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