2006   USA Little Miss Sunshine
Little Miss Sunshine Image Cover
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Director:Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton
Studio:20th Century Fox
Writer:Michael Arndt
IMDb Rating:8.0 (174,983 votes)
Awards:Won 2 Oscars. Another 41 wins & 45 nominations
Duration:103 min
Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton  ...  (Director)
Michael Arndt  ...  (Writer)
Abigail Breslin  ...  Olive Hoover
Greg Kinnear  ...  Richard Hoover
Paul Dano  ...  Dwayne
Alan Arkin  ...  Grandpa Edwin Hoover
Toni Collette  ...  Sheryl Hoover
Steve Carell  ...  Frank Ginsberg
Marc Turtletaub  ...  Doctor #1
Jill Talley  ...  Cindy
Brenda Canela  ...  Diner Waitress
Julio Oscar Mechoso  ...  Mechanic
Chuck Loring  ...  Convenience Store Proprietor
Justin Shilton  ...  Josh
Gordon Thomson  ...  Larry Sugarman
Steven Christopher Parker  ...  Teen Boy #1
Bryan Cranston  ...  Stan Grossman
Tim Suhrstedt  ...  Cinematographer
Summary: Pile together a blue-ribbon cast, a screenplay high in quirkiness, and the Sundance stamp of approval, and you've got yourself a crossover indie hit. That formula worked for Little Miss Sunshine, a frequently hilarious study of family dysfunction. Meet the Hoovers, an Albuquerque clan riddled with depression, hostility, and the tattered remnants of the American Dream; despite their flakiness, they manage to pile into a VW van for a weekend trek to L.A. in order to get moppet daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) into the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. Much of the pleasure of this journey comes from watching some skillful comic actors doing their thing: Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette as the parents (he's hoping to become a self-help authority), Alan Arkin as a grandfather all too willing to give uproariously inappropriate advice to a sullen teenage grandson (Paul Dano), and a subdued Steve Carell as a jilted gay professor on the verge of suicide. The film is a crowd-pleaser, and if anything is a little too eager to bend itself in the direction of quirk-loving Sundance audiences; it can feel forced. But the breezy momentum and the ingenious actors help push the material over any bumps in the road.-- Robert Horton

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