8. LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
(Photo and poster: Fox Searchlight)
By Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel
The best film of summer 2006 brings warmth, beauty, humor and realism as a struggling dysfunctional family (is there an oxymoron anywhere?) journeys from New Mexico to Southern California to get the family's gem of a daughter, eight-year-old Olive (wonderfully acted by Abigail Breslin) entered into a beauty pageant. The road trip is a revelatory journey and key to this scintillating film, which features Michael Arndt's sharp and witty screenplay, excellent music from DeVotchka and composer Mychael Danna plus the efficient direction of husband-and-wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, two directors who together had previously directed a variety of music videos and television commercials. The ensemble acting cast includes Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, with some noteworthy performances from Alan Arkin, Steve Carell and Paul Dano. "Little Miss Sunshine" is the ultimate crowd-pleaser and with the film now on DVD (released in the U.S. on December 19, 2006) is a perfect gift or rental.
The PopcornReel.com film review of "Little Miss Sunshine" first appeared on August 4, 2006.
PopcornReel.com feature story on "Sunshine" directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.