Saturday, January 27, 2007
Sunday morning quickie
By all means, rent this movie, if you haven't seen it, already. Little Miss Sunshine manages to be intelligently slapstick-- both funny and meaningful. And don't worry; it's not about the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, but about the journey to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, and you'll be riding from New Mexico to California with the delightful Olive, who can't wait to dance in front of her audience, Richard, her father, who is the most annoying self-motivational speaker you'll ever meet, Dwayne, a surly teenager who has taken a vow of silence, Grandpa, who was kicked out of a retirement home for snorking heroin (and has the foulest mouth on the planet), Uncle Frank, the seriously depressed Proust scholar, and Sheryl, an overworked and stressed-out mother, sister, and wife. The conversations and arguments that take place in the malfunctioning VW microbus on the way to California are both comic and revealing.
I found a couple parts of this movie stressful, which is probably appropriate, given the number of problems that this family encounters on the way. However, as anyone would guess, things do turn around at the end. This is a tale of awakening, in which the characters each learn something about themselves, as well as their importance and worth to their family.
The characters in this film were all quite convincing and engaging, each in his/her own way.
Abigail Breslin .... Olive
Abigail Breslin was just delightful!
Greg Kinnear .... Richard
Kinnear did an excellent job of making me want to slap him.
Paul Dano .... Dwayne
Perfectly taciturn, and almost scary, through most of the film.
Alan Arkin .... Grandpa
Arkin was hilarious.
Toni Collette .... Sheryl
I felt SO sorry for her character. Toni Collette's always good.
Steve Carell .... Frank
I never noticed this guy until he became a middle-aged virgin, but he's actually had a great career. Carell's character is very likeable, and a much-needed device for relating to moody-but-motivated Dwayne.
The Albuquerque , New Mexico Connection:
If you have the time, go here and check out The Shins. They've been around for awhile, but I've been negligent. They have a beautiful sound.