Little Miss Sunshine (15)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

StarStarStarStarStar
Review byMatthew Turner06/09/2006

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 101 mins

Hugely enjoyable, frequently hilarious road trip comedy with strong comic performances, razor-sharp direction and a consistently surprising script.

What's it all about?
Greg Kinnear stars as optimistic motivational speaker Richard, the stressed out head of the highly dysfunctional Hoover family, whose members include pro honesty mother Sheryl (Collette), suicidal Proust scholar and brother-in-law Frank (Steve Carell), Nietzsche-loving 15 year old Dwayne (who has taken a vow of silence until he can get into the Air Force), foul-mouthed, hedonist Grandpa (Alan Arkin) and bubbly, slightly chubby 7 year old Olive, who's obsessed with winning the Little Miss Sunshine pre-teen beauty pageant in L.A.

After a last minute drop-out allows Olive to compete in the pageant, Richard bundles his entire family into a rusted-up VW bus and they all head for Los Angeles on a three-day road trip, with hilarious results.

The Good
Directed by renowned music video directors Dayton and Faris, Little Miss Sunshine is a treat from start to finish. The consistently funny script allows each character to develop and to nab their fair share of the laughs, of which there are plenty.

The performances are terrific - if there was an Oscar for Best Ensemble Cast then this would win hands down. Kinnear is superb as the increasingly desperate father just trying to do the right thing, Carell makes the most of his downbeat, cast-against-type role and Breslin and Dano are both wonderful, whilst Arkin almost steals the entire movie with his hilarious turn as Grandpa.

The Great
The film is packed with delightful running gags and quotable lines and there are several excellent scenes, including a show-stopping finale that will have you crying with laughter. There's also just the tiniest hint of darkness (think Todd Solondz), which adds an extra layer to the film, even if you don't actually notice it till you've left the cinema.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is one of the funniest films of the year. Unmissable.

Film Trailer

Little Miss Sunshine (15)
Little Miss Sunshine has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 17/10/2017 21:37

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