Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama


Little Miss Sunshine (2006) Poster

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.

TIP
Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.

7.8/10
404,515

Videos


Photos

  • Jonathan Dayton at an event for Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  • Toni Collette and Greg Kinnear in Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  • Paul Dano in Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  • Paul Dano in Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  • Abigail Breslin at an event for Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  • Michael Arndt at an event for Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


26 July 2006 | cchase
9
| One Of The Best Movie "Gifts" I've Gotten This Year...
It is very rare to see a movie that can charm the hell out of an audience without the use of special effects, worn-out clichés and bombastic action set pieces these days. It's even more ridiculous to hope that you will see such a film for FREE. But that's exactly what happened to me tonight at a sneak preview of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE.

I "discovered" this movie right here at IMDb, having heard not a peep about it beforehand. By the time I finished watching the second trailer for the THIRD time, I was floored...and hooked. Luckily, the Bulletin Boards steered me toward the proper link to access sneak passes for tonight's showing, and all I can say is that it will not pain me one bit to pay for the privilege of seeing this gem a second time.

Assembling the best and most unlikeliest of ensemble casts you may probably see all year, SUNSHINE on the face of it is a relatively (pun intended) simple story. Little seven-year-old Olive (Abigail Breslin) has one wish in life: to be considered for the finals of the Little Miss Sunshine Pageant in Redondo Beach, CA. When her big chance comes at the most unexpected time, it's up to her unbelievably fractured family to pull themselves together and make it happen for her, no matter what it takes.

And what it takes is a sad, painful, tragic and yet unendingly hilarious trek in a barely operational VW bus from Albequerque, NM to the Pageant. And although getting there is only half the fun and family drama, you have got to see what happens to believe it when they finally arrive and Olive gets to "do her thing." The strong cast sounds not a single false note, and when the more touching moments arrive, they don't seem forced the way they would in most other big-budget behemoths, because these moments are truly earned. But WHAT a collection of characters this is. Greg Kinnear is letter-perfect as Olive's judgmental, failed motivational-speaker father; Steve Carell finds new shades of darkest despair and human comedy as her suicidal gay uncle, a leading Proust scholar; Paul Dano does amazing things with little more than facial expressions as Olive's older brother who's deep into Nietzche and a vow of absolute silence, and Alan Arkin, though he has played this kind of role with both hands tied behind his back and his eyes closed, still shines like a crazy diamond as her cantankerous and hedonistic grandfather.

And barely holding this motley crew together is Toni Collette, who amazes by playing a mother again and yet manages not to portray the role exactly the same way, (you might recall her Oscar-nominated turn as Haley Joel Osment's put-upon mom in THE SIXTH SENSE.) I'm not at all familiar with the work of the two directors, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, or the writer, Michael Arndt, but they have definitely raised the indie film bar with this effort. Not a single moment is wasted; not a single scene is in this film without having a reason for being there, and it's all character-driven. There's also nothing fluffy about it - commentary about everything from how twisted our pop culture can be, to how our drive for being #1 winners can blind us to all of the things that are the most important are all there under the bittersweet laughs and tears for the audience to discover.

I can't recommend this one highly enough. And I can't wait to see it again.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

  • Juno

    Juno

  • 500 Days of Summer

    500 Days of Summer

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • Silver Linings Playbook

    Silver Linings Playbook

  • Brokeback Mountain

    Brokeback Mountain

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Moonrise Kingdom

  • Lost in Translation

    Lost in Translation

  • 50/50

    50/50

  • Her

    Her

  • Easy A

    Easy A

  • The Royal Tenenbaums

    The Royal Tenenbaums

  • Black Swan

    Black Swan

Did You Know?

Trivia

On July 25, 2006 Fox Searchlight Pictures invited VW bus owners to a screening of Little Miss Sunshine (2006) at Vineland Drive-In theater in City of Industry, California. 65 VW buses were present at the event.


Quotes

Richard: There are two kinds of people in this world, winners and losers.


Goofs

While watching the landscape through the windows of the van, the outside landscape often changes from the blasted flat rocky desert north of Phoenix on I-17 to somewhere in the LA suburbs on I-10. You can tell because one shot will have empty rocky desert and the next will have tall skinny Italian Cypress trees (which are everywhere in Southern California) and different looking mountains.


Alternate Versions

The DVD contains four alternate endings:

  • Alternate Ending # 1 had the family stop at a rest stop the next day as they're driving back home. Richard talks fondly about Grandpa, and then the family toasts to his memory. You actually can't hear the dialogue, since the only audio option is for the director's commentary on this ending. Basically, the filmmakers thought that it was too sappy (since it was too sunny during the scene) and so they stopped filming.
  • Alternate Ending #2 had the family handcuffed at the security office at the hotel. The security guard tells them that Olive is disqualified from the competition and that they are released, under the condition that they are banned from entering beauty pageants in California again. He releases the family members, and they start to walk out of the lobby. Sheryl places a crown on Richard's head, who in turn places it on Olive's head. As they exit the hotel, Richard asks "who wants ice cream?"
  • Alternate Ending #3 had Olive running out into the lobby of the hotel, acting as a lookout, as you can hear everyone else arguing off-screen about stealing the trophy. She signals that the coast is clear, and so the others run out of the hotel carrying the trophy (while Frank wears the crown).
  • Alternate Ending #4 is the same as #3, but it's extended. Title cards detail the family stealing the trophy from the room, running down the hall, running out of the hotel, running into the van, and driving off.


Soundtracks

No Man's Land
Written by
Sufjan Stevens
Performed by Sufjan Stevens
Courtesy of Asthmatic Kitty Records

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Drama

Should You Follow Cersei Lannister on Instagram?

"You" star Shay Mitchell is a social media specialist, and she's using her expertise to choose which top TV characters you should follow ASAP.

Watch now

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to the Academy Awards, our coverage of the 2019 awards season, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com