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

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 (Carell) and Proust scholar 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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/03/2009
UPC:
0024543563556
Original Release:
2006
Rating:
R
Source:
Fox Searchlight
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
14,171

Special Features

Do You Wanna Talk? Gag scene; On the Road with the Hoovers: The Making of Little Miss Sunshine featurette; "We're Gonna Make It..." A session with Mychael Danna and DeVotchka featurette; Who are the Hoovers featurette; No One Gets Left Behind: The music of Little Miss Sunshine featurette; 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; "Till the End of Time" performed by DeVotchKa from the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack; Webisodes; Poster gallery; Deleted scenes

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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Little Miss Sunshine 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Little Miss Sunshine is the Oscar-nominated comedy starring Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, and Alan Arkin. It’s the American family road-trip movie for the current generation. There was a lot of hype last year about this little-movie-that-could, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, and none of it was undeserved. Now on DVD, this film never ceases to entertain and delight. The eccentric Hoover family from Alberqueque rallies around their awkward young daughter, Olive, who has been invited to compete in the “Little Miss Sunshine” pageant in California. Mom, Dad, daughter and son, along with Grandpa and Uncle pile into their old yellow VW bus, which has seen better days, and go off to help Olive chase her dream of being a beauty queen. The cast is an impeccable ensemble of Hollywood’s relative newcomers and veterans, and legend-in-the-making Steve Carell, steals several scenes as Uncle Frank, the suicidal, homosexual Proust scholar. Young Abigail Breslin really shines, though, and even earned an Oscar nod for her unforgettable performance. Little Miss Sunshine seems mildly humorous, with spots of black humor and somber heart-warming moments, for the first three quarters of the film. Then suddenly, without warning, it is uproariously funny, and stays that way until it fades to black. When the film was first released to theaters, the audience would invariably be falling out of their seats, crying and laughing, as little Miss Breslin performed her “talent” in the pageant. It truly is charming and warm and you do really fall in love with the characters, but the film offers so much more than just family dysfunction. It’s also a sharp satire of child beauty pageants. The last scene, at the pageant, is the funniest scene in any film released last year. The only thing that drags this little gem of a film down is the writing, and even that is easily overlooked. But something about the way writer Michael Arndt set up each character for a rise and fall came off as a little cheesy. It seemed just a little too much, especially when Dwayne, played by Paul Dano, found out he was color-blind. In the end, though, fifteen minutes into the film later, all is forgotten, dissolved into hysterical laughter. Little Miss Sunshine walks the delicate line of dark humor and family comedy with such precision and passion. It’s impossible to watch this film and not love it. The DVD includes four alternate endings and director commentary, and the film is just as good on the second, third and fourth viewings, as it was on the first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
The Hoover family are on their way to California for Olive, where she's participating in a beauty pageant called Little Miss Sunshine. The acting was pretty good. The scenery was good too and especially the music. The ending was cute. Definitely recommend you see this, even if the movie's a little overrated, it's a really good movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was so good! it is the only movie where i have laughed while i cried. The actors are believable, and the plot will never get old. Wah-hoo!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my new favorite movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Intelligent, witty and fun--this is one of those rare movies that I left the theater actually feeling that it was money well spent. There are scenes--several--especially at the end--where you laugh out loud endlessly. A truly unique comedy--so well acted, well written, and surprisingly heartwarming at moments. Stand out performances by all cast members. Don't miss it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually saw this movie FIVE(!!!) times in various theaters, with various friends, and it never got old. I still laughed AND cried at the humanity of it all. The characters are truly memorable, and everyone can relate to at least one of them- more likely all of them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
little miss sunshine was a heart-filled, very funny comedy. if you watch it, you WILL ador it. it was a wonderful film to watch that just wanted to make you cry and laugh at the same time. it is a great movie that everyone would love!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie quickly climbed to the top of my all time favorites list. It has real heart. But it's also so funny I was crying because I was laughing so hard! I'll never see a VW bus in quite the same way again. You won't be dissapointed in this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a frequent movie goer, and watch US as well as foreign films. This is the funniest movie I have seen in the past few years. I laughed so hard I was in tears. It is very well acted and entertaining from beginning to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is a must-see movie. If you like watching movies about crazed grandpas', always-be-a-winner dads', always-be-completly-honest mothers', hot silent teenage boys', cute seven year old girls', AND homosexual uncles', you will love this movie to death. It's funny at the beginning,middle, and end. Especially the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always been drawn to offbeat looks at Americana. Wes Anderson and Alexander Payne have both directed some of the freshest and funniest looks at the American family in recent years. So I was looking forward to Little Miss Sunshine. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Can there be such a thing as predictable quirkiness? Take the father of the clan for example: A failed motivational speaker. Get the obvious joke? A loser who is always preaching to everyone about winning. How about the pervert Grandfather's pageant choreography? Bet you never saw that dance coming. I would rate this two stars out of five just for Alan Arkin. He deserves better then this. PS: Did anyone else notice that the family drove from Californina to Arizona and then back to California again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What makes this movies so wonderful is it celebrates the quirkyness of life. And in case you live in a bubble, people in general ARE quirky when you get down to the honesty of life. Who among us doesn't have strange stories to tell of family road trips? This is a story about people who are who they are for better or worse. We laugh because it rings true. We cry because it touches a part of us that taps into our life's experiences. Anyway, this movie is like no other because it tells a story of THIS family and no other. But in the end we can all relate because life is one big quirky mess.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The acting was very good. Steve Carell, love him (but not in the sense how he loves guys in the movie). Some parts were just downright annoying, maybe too much arguing in some scenes. Sure those parts are realistic, but I find arguing in real-life also annoying. Scenes were kinda predictable. I wasn't sure how I felt about the ending either. I didn't know if I was supposed to laugh or be disgusted. I basically laughed out loud thrice throughout the movie. I counted. Sure there were some other funny scenes that caused a "hmmph" coming out of my larynx every once in awhile. I'm glad I payed $6 for this movie used. Definitely worth the 6 beans. Full price, not so much. Being that I am only one of two people that didn't give it 5 stars, perhaps I'll give it another try.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was soo funny it should totally win the oscar for best movie
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is awesome! really loved this movie....I have watched over and over again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is full of very dysfunctional characters but the interaction between them is great and the acting is top notch. Funny movie. Recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is truly an astounding movie. It focuses around an amazingly disfunctional family forced to take a road trip together to support the youngest who aspires to be a beauty queen. This is one of only a handful of films that manages to be truly funny and very emotionally uplifting at the same time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie is so original, hilarious, heartwarming, and quirky! Instead of spending all its energy on funny gags, such as in other family road trip movies, this one focuses on the characters and the irony of their situations. Everything about this movie is wonderful,from the acting to the photography. The ending is unforgetably funny. It's a movie I will watch over and over again and never get tired of.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is an overly slick version of what a real indie movie might be. All the sharp edges have been burned off and you're left with a vaguely bad aftertaste and not a lot of substance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently saw this movie, while coming back from germany on the plane, and was delited to see we have great movie on our hands. It's funny,seriouse,heartwarming,betrayal, and all around what families have/may be going through. This is a movie to share with your family, and friends, (By the way I saw it twice , on the plane), You will be delited to see this, and have your heart racing with powerfull messages, for your family and friends. This should win an Oscar! Love life, and treasure your children. D..C Carubini
Guest More than 1 year ago
This moviee iss greaatttt!! i loved it!! tottaly recomend it to anyone!!! hilarious!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a complete mess and waste of time!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One word: Trash. Not funny. No story line. Vulgar (this is called writing?) Not worth further discussion.