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Little Miss Sunshine January 25, 2007

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.

I first heard about this film when it garnered high praise from critics after its appearance at the Sundance Film Festival (and now it has been nominated in the Best Film category for the Globes as well as the Oscars). This quirky comedy pleases you throughout with its honest effort to portray a dysfunctional family. Unlike most films in the genre, it feels for its characters and manages to be highly amusing without mocking them.

Debutant writer Michael Arndt is in superb form here. This isn’t an easy script to write and he gets it right. The husband-wife team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who have apparently directed a lot of music videos before this film, do a neat job without being flashy. The cast of this film deliver splendid performances and lift the film. Abigail Breslin is brilliant even without considering her age. Even a relative newcomer like Paul Dano makes an impression among the capable ensemble cast with the likes of Greg Kinnear (Stuck on You, Invincible), Toni Collette (In Her Shoes, The Sixth Sense, The Hours) and Steve Carell. It is nice to see Steve Carell in an indie film after his commercial success with The 40 Year Old Virgin.

The Little Miss Sunshine in the film is a little girl (Breslin) who is taking part in an under-10 beauty contest. She is the runner-up in a local contest and when the winner drops out, she gets a chance to take part in the national competition. So, the whole family including Dad (Kinnear), Mom (Collette), Brother (Dano), Grandpa (Alan Arkin) and Uncle (Carrell) start out on a road trip from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Redondo Beach, California. The events that transpire in their journey kept me smiling as I started connecting with each of the characters and the hilarious climax at the beauty pageant was a delight.

Though the critics have loved this film, it is not restricted to the festival circuit alone. I don’t see why this film will not appeal to a mainstream audience. Anybody who is willing to invest a little patience in these characters will not be disappointed with the film.


1. Shujath - April 22, 2008

I happened to watch Juno and this one last week. Though Juno was better when it comes to the entertainment quotient, I loved the characters better in this one. They come with the usual quirkiness of the “Hollywood dysfunctional family” but there was still something honest and authentic in each one of those which I could relate to.

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