Little Miss Sunshine (2006): Sundance Fest Highlight, Best Picture Oscar Nominee

“Little Miss Sunshine,” the first hit of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, world-premiered last night to standing ovation, resulting in a fierce bidding war among distributors.

Obviously, the concept of dysfunctional family has not been exhausted in American films (Hollywood and indies) as is manifest in Little Miss Sunshine, a likable picture with the potential of becoming breakthrough hit beyond the indie milieu, like last year’s Sundance hit, “Hustle & Flow.”

Though it appears to be original and idiosyncratic on the surface, “Little Miss Sunshine” is really a genre comedy that combines elements of the dysfunctional family film with those of the road comedy; the van (dys)functions as one of the central characters.

The feature directorial debut of renowned music video directors (and husband-and-wife team) Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, this farcical comedy is for the most part sharply written by Michael Arndt.

It’s unusual these days to see an American film about an extended family, but one of the positive and innovative aspects of “Little Miss Sunshine” is that it embraces a three-generational family, affording each one of its six members a fully-developed role, with an arch, ups-and-downs, and some kind of reconciliation after experiencing inner and outer struggles. The movie “handles” in egalitarian way the various crises of the Hoover family, though there may be too many of them for one comedy.

The film tells the story of the Hoover family over a crowded three-day span, as its members journey from their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico to the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in Redondo Beach, California, to fulfill the deepest wish of seven-year-old Olive, an ordinary-looking little girl with big glasses and equally big dreams.

It takes one reel to discover the driving force behind the comedy, namely, that each member of the clan nurses personal dreams–and heartbreaks when the dreams crush. Significantly, each member is a victim of the American Dream of upward mobility and monetary success. As a result, at the end of the journey, each individual has to come to terms with a new, more compromised version of his/her reality.

The comedy’s main target is that uniquely American notion of winning, the whole philosophy of dividing the human race into winners and losers. In the course of the journey, various definitions of winning are contested, defeated, reevaluated and redefined.

For the weak patriarch, Richard (Greg Kinnear, in top form), “there’s no sense in entering a contest, if you don’t think you’re gonna win.” Based on this perverse definition, he mercilessly challenged his daughter Olive, “So you think you can win Little Miss Sunshine” The petrified, nearly frozen girl, is hesitant for a second before giving her affirmative response, “yes.” In contrast, for the raunchy Grandpa (a terrific Alan Arkin), “a real loser isn’t someone who doesnt win. A real loser is someone so afraid of not winning they don’t even try.”

The Hoovers are meant to be a typical middle-class suburban clan. Father Richard wishes to become the next world-famous self-help guru, with a new “Nine Steps” plan of How to Win in Life. However, he can’t get beyond his own insecurities and failures. Bound for a comeuppance, Richard is losing his control and masculinity; you don’t have to be a Freudian psychologist to observe the analogies between the broken van and Richard.

Mom Sheryl (Toni Collette) is a divorcee whose main function is to try and keep her new family together, despite near-impossible odds. When the film begins, Sheryl goes to the hospital to release her brother Frank (a wonderful Steve Carell, of “The Office” fame). A renowned Proust scholar, Frank is recovering from a botched suicide attempt, a cry for attention after a romantic rejection of his handsome graduate student, who opted for the amour of Frank’s academic competitor, who later on wins laurels for his latest book. Like Richard’s, Frank’s body and soul have been shattered. It’s the job of the journey to restore some semblance of order and self-esteem to both men.

Sheryl brings Frank home, forcing her son Dwayne (Paul Dano) to share his room with his uncle and make sure that Frank doesn’t attempt another suicide. An alienated teen, who’s obsessed with getting into the Air Force Academy, Dwayne has taken an extended vow of silence. Claiming that, “I hate everyone,” he has reduced his life to the minimum communication possible; when necessary, he’ll scratch down a few words in writing, or signal a brief gesture, to a question.

Also in residence is the curmudgeon, sexually obsessed Grandpa, who says exactly what’s on his mind, regardless of the company. Grandpa is forced to live with his son Richard, after being kicked out of a nursing home due to his drug habit; in the first scene, he’s seen snorting cocaine.

What precipitates the family into “action” is a “bomb” dropped on them, when Olive is asked, unbeknownst to them and at the worst time in their life, to participate in the Little Miss Sunshine contest in Redondo Beach. Despite great odds, the family agrees to bring Olive to California to perform in the highly competitive girls’ talent show and beauty pageant. The Hoovers perceive Olive’s trip as their salvation, something like seeking the Holy Grail.

Under time pressures and tremendous anxieties, Olive and her family have two days to travel over a thousand miles in a cantankerous VW bus, which keeps breaking at the worst possible moments (a joke repeated too many times). As the Hoovers travel through the American Southwest, they encounter a series of obstacles, both dramatic and comedic.

In the first half, the film maintains a balance between comedy and drama, but then it deteriorates into a broad farce that undermines the very logic of the comedy.

Pushing too hard, Arndt’s script is marred by a number of strategic mistakes. For example, there’s a highly contrived scene in which Frank meets his ex-lover and his competitor scholar out of the blue, in the middle of nowhere, at a gas station.

The scene in which the son realizes that he’s not fit for aviation career is also overbaked. And in what’s the film’s weakest scene, a policeman stops the Hoovers and then lets them go for a reason that can’t be revealed here, but rings utterly false.

The picture’ third reel suffers from repetition of ideas and images, but fortunately, once the family lands at Redondo Beach, it regains its steam. The sequence depicting the beauty contest is truly American Gothic; the young contestants look like freaks, monsters who’re neither girls nor women. It’s here that the Hoovers wake up from their fantasy world–and the tale delivers its moral lesson.

Despite the aforementioned weaknesses, for a first effort, the film is remarkable in the naturalness of the dialogue and unpredictability of most of the situations along the road. “Little Miss Sunshine” represents an honorable addition to the genre of dysfunctional family comedy in general and the beauty pageant in particular.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88