Little Miss Sunshine

Rating 2¾

Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

Written by Michael Arndt

Starring Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Abigail Breslin, Paul Dano and Alan Arkin

A family of oddballs and eccentrics travels 800 miles across country in a beat-up VW camper bus to allow the youngest member of the family, Olive (played by Abigail Breslin), to participate in the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ beauty pageant. As the accident-strewn and ultimately tragic journey unfolds the various characters learn valuable lessons about themselves and each other.

Made for a comparatively small budget of $8 million, the film received many rave reviews from critics and eventually grossed over $100 million worldwide. It also won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin) and Best Original Screenplay (Michael Arndt).

I quite enjoyed the film while I was watching it. It was certainly funny and perceptive at times and I thought it was well acted. I particularly liked Toni Collette’s performance. I found the closing sequence at the beauty pageant quite nauseating, which I presume was the point; I really cannot understand why any parent would want to do that to their child. However, the film has left no lasting impression on me and I can barely think of anything else to say about it.

Is it over-rated? I think so. Having said that, it is not dislikeable, although I cannot imagine I will feel the need to watch it again anytime soon.

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