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14 February 2012

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Directed by: Jonathan Dayton & Valeria Faris


Written by: Michael Ardnt
Cast: Steve Catell, Alan Arkin, Paul Dano


Genre: Drama, Comedy
Colour, 100 Minutes

This is the kind of film that you first look at and say, this does not look like a really great film, but it ends up being great in the sweetest way possible. With no big star names, effects or explosive story’s, it is one of the finest road trips films you will come across. We meet a dysfunctional family who go on this road trip that ends up being unforgettable in good times and bad. A perfect blend of humour, drama and reasonably talented performances makes this a lovable tale of one family’s wild road trip.

What is the story you say? A problem-ruined family end up going on a road trip all the way to California when little Olive (Aibail Breslin) is accepted to go to the Little Miss sunshine beauty pageant. However, there trip is more than a simple A to B with the many things they encounter along the way.

With such a charming and admirable script, it is hard not to love the film. The dialogue was highly amusing and with everything that happens, you fall in love with the entire concept of this road trip, completely forgetting the minor purpose behind it- a beauty pageant. The idea of a 10 year olds competing for beauty is quite sickening, but I think it is a deliberate input here. However, one of the films funniest moments takes part in the end in my opinion. It is when the announcer stares at the children. Three seconds, that is all it took to make me laugh: Thank you Michael Arndt for an excellent script.

To be exact, the film is full of great bits of humour. It is not a ‘laugh out loud’ comedy, but a comedy with balanced drama, which makes it an impeccably evened-out film. Such humorous moments include the police officer stopping the family in their Volkswagen and discovering the porn magazines and the discussion about having sex with girls between Grandpa and Dwayne.

The performances were passionate and sincere, with even little Abigail Breslin (Olive) doing a fine job. Steve Carell I must say is an actor I am not a very big fan of, but here, he has gotten under the skin of his character and portrayed the suicidal and number one national scholar Frank perfectly, not to mention the rest of the family. The emotionally effected and no-talking teenager (Paul Dano), the caring, but troubled mother, an elderly potty-mouthed heroin addict (Alan Arkin), a failed motivation speaker (Greg Kinnear) and the little girl, who is the real purpose of the entire road trip (Abigail Breslin)

The most glorifying thing about watching the film is how the road trip changes the family completely, bringing them closer. Problem after problem, the family still makes it to the beauty pageant that you likely forget about on their journey, they develop as people and change. Each character changes in some way and it just worked brilliantly.

The wonderful thing about this completely dysfunctional road trip is how the youngest and most innocent member of the family who seems to bring the family closer. She is why there was a road trip, and all it took to get Dwayne back into the van after he was outraged by learning he was colour blind (crushing his dream of being a pilot), is to rest her head on his shoulder. For a little girl, she pulled off her role delightfully no doubt.

I cannot go without mentioning directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who touched this film with great care, controlling the film perfectly. Little Miss Sunshine is an unexpectedly splendid film with accessible emotion, strong acting and a solid plot that entertains you from start to end with its moments of humour and drama. 


Verdict: It is a film to be cherished and remembered  and may leave you inspired to live life that extra bit more, and maybe even make you consider your family a little more.

Rating: 9/10


Extra Information
At IMDB
At RottenTomatoes
Distributed by:
Age Certificate: 15
Country: USA
Language: English

1 comment:

  1. Terrific review, Tom. This is a film I would very much like to see, and your review has me wanting to see it even more, great job.

    ReplyDelete

 

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