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09 February, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

Like I said, we saw two Oscar-nominated movies in one day: Pan's Labyrinth in the theater and Little Miss Sunshine on DVD. The two movies can't be more different: the first was as grim as the second was funny.

Little Miss Sunshine revolved around a family that was as dysfunctional as they come: there's stressed-out mom Sheryl (Toni Collette), the sole breadwinner while dad Richard (Greg Kinnear) pursued his pipe dream of becoming a motivational guru; with them lived Richard's foul-mouthed, heroin-using father (Alan Arkin), Sheryl's suicidal gay brother Frank (Steve Correll), son Dwayne (Paul Dano) who took a vow of silence until he becomes a pilot and daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin), the sanest of the lot, whose one wish was to win the Little Miss Sunshine pageant.

It was this misfit crew's day trip to the California pageant that served as the movie's barebones plot. It wasn't much as plots go, but the conflicts and issues between these nutty characters embodied dysfunctional families so well that one can't help but root for them. The excellent performance by the whole cast had a lot to do with it, too. I just wish the movie didn't try so hard to mask its sentimentality because the effort showed; some of the scenes bordered on the absurd.

Was it worthy of an Oscar nomination? I didn't think so; there were other movies this year that deserved the honor, but if you feel like a quirky little movie with a lot of heart and a hilarious ending, I highly recommend it.

Youtube trailer of the movie here.

posted at 11:06 PM by City Muse


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