Little Miss Sunshine
10 March: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm£4 – £6
2006 – Certificate 15
– Little Miss Sunshine –
This heart-warming Oscar winning comedy follows a dysfunctional family on a frantic road trip across the US in a decrepit Volkswagen van to deliver their youngest to a child beauty pageant on time. Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) is an ordinary little girl, perhaps even on the plain side as far as looks go, but she has a dream cast in stone – to win the Little Miss Sunshine child beauty pageant. Her heroin-snorting grandfather (Alan Arkin) coaches her in some rather unorthodox and grown-up techniques – when he’s not on the nod. Her mum (Toni Collette) and dad (Greg Kinnear) are at each other’s throat because dad has sunk their entire worth into a self-help business that’s a total non-starter. Her philosophically-constipated older brother (Paul Dano) has taken a vow of nihilistic silence and her suicidal gay uncle (Steve Carell) has come to stay for a while after yet another failed attempt to cash out early. Has Olive got a chance? No, she hasn’t, but it’s the journey that matters, not the destination – ultimately the message of this touching comedy.
Running Time 100 mins
Ratings Info Cert 15 – ✪✪✪✪
Director(s) Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton
Cast includes Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, Alan Arkin
Nominations & Awards 70 wins from 110 nominations including two Oscars (Best Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay
This marvellous satire of modern life and family values calls to mind the wit of The Simpsons and the chutzpah of Malcolm In The Middle and — defying expectation — takes on a loving and painfully recognisable emotional life.
Making their feature debut, married co-directors Dayton and Faris strike the right tone in every mood shift and keep the focus on startlingly credible, sympathetic human beings. The comedy-with-heart never gets lame or drippy when it’s constantly set off by choice background details and throwaway one-liners.
A gentle family satire and a classic American road movie, Little Miss Sunshine harks back to the anti-establishment, countercultural comedies of the 1970s – satirical fairy tales that preached the virtues of nonconformity over the superficiality of conventional American values.
You just won’t see a better acted, and better cast, movie than Little Miss Sunshine. These actors (and their directors, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris) grasp how unspoken reactions can be funnier than dialogue or punchlines, and how pain can be the source of the most satisfying comedy.
The dysfunctional family and the road trip are two staples of American independent cinema, which occasionally combine to wonderful effect
This is a lovely film, which backs up its wackiness with considerable wisdom. In a terrific cast, Carell and Arkin take the honours, the former beautifully eking out the detail of an introverted man painfully returning to life, the latter gloriously larger than life – and rushing to end it on a chemical high.
The eccentric comic tone is deftly channeled by a cast with no weak element. …. Kinnear has never been better, while Collette does lovely, understated work as an emotionally burdened, abraded woman whose caring nature is never in doubt.
Carell shows further evidence he’s the real deal with his morosely deadpan characterization. Arkin gets the best lines as the irascible oldster with no politeness filter.
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