Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

4.3 62
Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Cast: Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette

     
 

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When a pudgy, bespectacled seven-year-old, Olive (Abigail Breslin), voices her desire to take home the coveted Little Miss Sunshine crown at an upcoming beauty pageant, her wildly dysfunctional family sets out on an interstate road trip to ensure her a clear shot at realizing her dreams in former music video directorial team See more details below

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Overview

When a pudgy, bespectacled seven-year-old, Olive (Abigail Breslin), voices her desire to take home the coveted Little Miss Sunshine crown at an upcoming beauty pageant, her wildly dysfunctional family sets out on an interstate road trip to ensure her a clear shot at realizing her dreams in former music video directorial team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' quirky feature debut, starring Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, and Toni Collette. Despite early career success as an outspoken motivational speaker, family patriarch Richard (Kinnear) continues to cling to his "Refuse to Lose" philosophy, much to the chagrin of his increasingly annoyed spouse, Sheryl (Collette). Add into the mix a Nietzsche-reading teenage son (Paul Dano) who has taken a vow of silence until he finds his fate as a fighter pilot; a horny, heroin-happy grandfather (Alan Arkin) with a penchant for creative profanity; and a suicidal genius and Proust scholar (Carell) still reeling about losing both his male lover and his MacArthur Foundation genius grant -- and the stage is set for a road trip in which sanity is sure to take the back seat. Fox's 2006 DVD release offers a commentary track by first-time directing duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris as well as writer Michael Arndt, and deleted scenes.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Arguably the box-office sleeper of 2006, Little Miss Sunshine finds its big laughs by zeroing in on one of the most engaging dysfunctional families ever brought to the screen. At seven years of age, preternaturally ambitious Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) is fixated on beauty contests, and she's elated when she qualifies to enter one. For a variety of reasons, getting to the pageant site promises to be a Herculean task the family reluctantly undertakes: Usually optimistic dad Richard (Greg Kinnear) is in the dumps due to business woes; seriously depressed uncle Frank (Steve Carell) is recovering from a suicide attempt; chronically angry brother Dwayne (Paul Dano) has taken a vow of silence; generally supportive mom Sheryl (Toni Collette) worries that Olive is setting herself up for a crushing disappointment; and foul-mouthed grandpa Edwin has a bit of a drug problem. Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris lavish their attention on the road trip -- a lengthy, obstacle-filled journey that tests the Hoovers and ultimately unites the family behind its youngest member. What makes this modest masterpiece outshine similarly plotted films like National Lampoon’s Vacation is its emphasis on character rather than gags. The acting is of uniformly high caliber, with Carell a standout as a Proust scholar whose reputation and relationship have simultaneously gone down the drain; his is a carefully calibrated and restrained performance. Blending its bite with brains and heart, Little Miss Sunshine comes out a winner.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Michael Arndt's screenplay for the stellar comedy Little Miss Sunshine is tightly constructed, and full of the kinds of characters talented actors kill to portray. All of the characters and themes are economically but patiently set up in a funny 20-minute dinner sequence that opens the movie. Throughout the film, characters perform what seem to be throwaway actions that actually pay off later in the film. The fact that first-time directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris know when to keep the story moving and when to slow down for the first-rate character stuff helps make it one of the great debuts of the year. However, it is the actors who make Little Miss Sunshine one of the best films of 2006. These characters, from the suicidal Proust scholar to the heroin-addicted grandfather to the silent, sullen teenager to the failed motivational speaker (a comedy concept worthy of an award in and of itself), could all be played so grandly that the film would collapse. However, everybody stays on the same page emotionally, making them seem like a real family and like real individuals. About a third of the way into Little Miss Sunshine, Steve Carell and Alan Arkin play a simple scene in which Arkin's character makes a frank request that gets a laugh from Carell's character. The scene is unusual because very rarely does anyone actually laugh onscreen in a comedy. Carell's laugh feels utterly genuine and entirely in character, making the conversation one of the moments that best exemplifies the humanism and the humor in the thoroughly entertaining Little Miss Sunshine.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/19/2006
UPC:
0024543403319
Original Release:
2006
Rating:
R
Source:
Fox Searchlight
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
3,914

Special Features

4 alternate endings with directors' commentary; Directors' commentary by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris; Screenwriter's commentary by Michael Arndt with directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris; Music video "Till the End of Time" performed by DeVotchKa from the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Greg Kinnear Richard
Toni Collette Sheryl
Steve Carell Frank
Paul Dano Dwayne
Abigail Breslin Olive
Alan Arkin Grandpa
Marc Turtletaub Doctor #1
Jill Talley Cindy
Brenda Canela Diner Waitress
Julio Oscar Mechoso Mechanic
Chuck Loring Convenience Store Propietor
Justin Shilton Josh
Gordon Thomson Larry Sugarman
Steven Christopher Parker Teen Boy #1
Bryan Cranston Stan Grossman
John Walcutt Doctor #2
Paula Newsome Linda
Dean Norris State Trooper McCleary
Beth Grant Pageant Official Jenkins
Wallace Langham Kirby
Lauren Shiohama Miss California
Mary Lynn Rajskub Pageant Assistant Pam
Jerry Giles Funeral Home Worker
Geoff Meed Biker Dad
Matt Winston Pageant MC
Joan Scheckel Judge
Casandra Ashe Girl in Hallway
Melvin Rodriguez Officer Martinez
Alexandria Alaman Pageant Contestant
Brittany Baird Pageant Contestant
Brenae Bandy Pageant Contestant
Maliah Hudson Pageant Contestant
Lindsey Jordan Pageant Contestant
Annabelle Roberts Pageant Contestant
Nicole Stoehr Pageant Contestant
Alissa Anderegg Pageant Contestant
Cambria Baird Pageant Contestant
Kristen Holaas Pageant Contestant
Destry Jacobs Pageant Contestant
Shane Murphy Pageant Contestant
Sydni Stevenson-Love Pageant Contestant
Lauren Yee Pageant Contestant

Technical Credits
Jonathan Dayton Director
Valerie Faris Director
Christie Abercrombi Stunts
Michael Arndt Screenwriter
Justine Baddeley Casting
Albert Berger Producer
Michael Beugg Executive Producer
Kacie Borrowman Stunts
Clay Boss Stunts
Jeb Brody Executive Producer
Peter Claven Cullen Stunts
Mychael Danna Score Composer
Kimberly Davis-Wagner Casting
Marguerite Derricks Choreography
David T. Friendly Producer
Jeffrey P. Greeley Camera Operator
Rick Gunderson Stunts
Brad Haehnel Sound Mixer
Riley Thomas Harper Stunts
Tracie Richelle Harrison Stunts
Kalina Ivanov Production Designer
Susan Jacobs Musical Direction/Supervision
Johnny Johnson Stunts
Lawrence Karman Camera Operator
Bart Lipton Associate Producer
Anne Litt Musical Direction/Supervision
Kevin Maier Stunts
Pamela Martin Editor
Joe Everett Michaels Stunts
Steven A. Morrow Sound Mixer
Alan Muraoka Art Director
Paramount Recording Studios Sound Mixer
Peter Saraf Producer
Thomas Patrick Smith Asst. Director
Nancy Steiner Costumes/Costume Designer
Tim Suhrstedt Cinematographer
Matt Taylor Stunts
Tim Trella Stunts
Marc Turtletaub Producer
Jenny Worman Stunts
Ron Yerxa Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- Little Miss Sunshine [P&S]
1. The Hoovers Plus One
2. Homecoming
3. A Nice Family Dinner
4. Winner!
5. The Voice of Experience
6. A la Mode
7. Damn Clutch
8. The Refuge of Losers
9. Gas Station Blues
10. Guts
11. Beauty Rest
12. Nine Steps Back
13. A Long Life
14. Never Give Up
15. Pretending to Be Normal
16. End of a Dream
17. Four Minutes Late
18. Final Touch-Ups
19. Our Lovely Contestants
20. Prime Suffering Years
21. Talent Galore
22. Kicking Ass
23. Incredible
24. End Titles
Disc #1, Side B -- Little Miss Sunshine [WS]
1. The Hoovers Plus One
2. Homecoming
3. A Nice Family Dinner
4. Winner!
5. The Voice of Experience
6. A la Mode
7. Damn Clutch
8. The Refuge of Losers
9. Gas Station Blues
10. Guts
11. Beauty Rest
12. Nine Steps Back
13. A Long Life
14. Never Give Up
15. Pretending to Be Normal
16. End of a Dream
17. Four Minutes Late
18. Final Touch-Ups
19. Our Lovely Contestants
20. Prime Suffering Years
21. Talent Galore
22. Kicking Ass
23. Incredible
24. End Titles

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