Little Miss Sunshine  » Movies  »
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  • The movie stars Alan Arkin, a favorite of mine since I first saw Catch-22 more than thirty years ago as well as Greg Kinnear who I enjoyed very much in As Good as it Gets
  • I think this movie is a character piece, something I prefer to action movies
  • I found the scenes with little girls all dressed up with carefully prepared makeup and hairstyles, wearing adult style clothes cut down to miniature both disturbing and sad

    • by tfedge
      all reviews
      I kept missing “Little Miss Sunshine” when it was in my local cinemas so I was pleased to see it had been rushed to DVD. The movie stars Alan Arkin, a favorite of mine since I first saw “Catch-22″ more than thirty years ago as well as Greg Kinnear who I enjoyed very much in “As Good as it Gets. ” I think this movie is a character piece, something I prefer to action movies. The father (Kinnear) is trying to market his motivational program of success in nine steps, but no one will buy it.

      Paul Dano plays a high school student who has dedicated himself to attending to the Air Force Academy so he can be a pilot. To achieve this he has taken a vow of silence and using Nietzschean philosophy to help him attain his goal. Alan Arkin is the grandfather


      whose disruptive behavior caused him to be kicked out of the retirement home where he had been living.

      The plot revolves around the little girl of the family, Olive (Little Miss Sunshine) who had placed second in a local beauty pageant while visiting her aunt in California. The beauty pageant is reminiscent of the Jon Benet Ramsey tapes that have been play countless time since she went missing. I found the scenes with little girls all dressed up with carefully prepared makeup and hairstyles, wearing adult style clothes cut down to miniature both disturbing and sad.

      These girls who were about an average of six years old were doing their best to act like fashion models were victims of society and parents. Whatever happened to the innocence of youth? Why anyone would want to look and act like that I’ve never been able to ...


      • figure out. Anyway, Olive is a cute little girl, with glasses, long straight hair and a bit of a pudginess that belies her ever being able to win such a contest.

        When the first place winner was unable to compete in the next level, Olive was given the opportunity to compete, but the family had to drive about a thousand miles across the Southwest and arrive in time for her to compete. The movie is the story of their journey. I’m tempted to call the family a dysfunctional family: none of them has achieved success, at least success by many people’s standards.

        What they have achieved isn’t by society’s standards worth much. However, in their journey they support each other and provide comfort to each other when tragedies occur. The grandfather dies, the high school student discovers he’s color blind and isn’t able to

        be a pilot (that’s something I’ve never understood.

        Are pilots given instructions based on color? Remember Captain, only shoot the blue plans, not the red ones?). And sadly, Olive realizes on stage that she is nothing like the other contestants and becomes frightfully embarrassed. They are not however dysfunctional.

        Because of the journey the family has become closer and realized they importance of each other. I very much liked the characters and loved the irony of the dreams they pursued not being attainable. Too often movies have a Pollyanna quality and with a tilte like “Little Miss Sunshine” it’s easy to imagine a Shirley Temple-style success story.

        I think it is important to realize that not everyone succeeds. However, I felt like something was missing in the movie but I haven’t quite figured out what. Overall it was a good movie, but not a great one.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in January, 2007. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 11801117480131/k2311a018/1.8.07
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