Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

Yesterday was a big news day, and I’m not talking about the State of the Union Address. Think BIGGER. That’s right—the Oscar nominees were announced. And my new favorite movie, the screamingly funny indy, Little Miss Sunshine, received best picture and best supporting actress nods.


LMS, in case you didn’t know, is the tale of an adorable seven year old beauty pageant-loving girl, Olive, who unexpectedly gets the chance to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. Her family members, a collection of losers so quirky that calling them dysfunctional seems like a compliment, unite in their desire to see Olive compete, load up the family’s ancient yellow VW bus, and hit the road for the 800 mile trip to California from Arizona. Drama and hilarity ensue, including the pressing and hysterical issue of whether the old bus will even make the trip.

HOW dysfunctional is this family, you ask? Well, there’s Greg Kinnear, who plays the passive-aggressive motivational speaker dad; Steve Carrell, who plays the formerly suicidal gay Proust scholar uncle; Paul Dano, Olive’s voluntarily mute teenage older brother who writes notes to communicate; Alan Arkin as Olive’s heroin-addicted choreographer/grandfather; Toni Collette as Olive’s frazzled mother; and the VW bus itself, a vehicle with heart that becomes a character as vital as any of the others.

Needless to say, all the characters endure a huge amount of conflict, disappointment, and growth during the course of the movie. I dare anyone to watch Little Miss Sunshine and not fall in love with Olive, whose inner beauty practically makes her glow. I luuuuuved this movie, and I hope little Abigail Breslin, who played Olive so wonderfully, wins big.

So what about you? Did any of your favorite movies of the year make the Oscar cut?


Kristina Cook said...

Little Miss Sunshine is on my 'to rent' list for the weekend. I've been dying to see it for ages!

My biggest Oscar excitement was Ryan Gosling's nomination for Best Actor for Half Nelson, which I thought a fabulous movie. I'm disappointed the movie didn't get more nods, particularly for newcomer Shareeka Epps in the Supporting Actress category. But if Ryan *were* to win, at age 26, he'd be the youngest person to ever win the category! Go, Ryan!

Forrest Whittaker was terrific in The Last King of Scotland--very well-deserved nomination there, too.

Of course, Ryan and Forrest have *no* chance whatsoever, because they are up against an aging Peter O'Toole, who has something like 7 noms and 0 wins. In the usual Academy fashion, that means a win--not really for the movie he's nominated for (Venus) but for his collective body of work. And frankly I HATE it when they do that. Grrrrr.

The Cosmic Kid said...

Little Miss Sunshine is fabulous! I think the scene on stage at the end is one of the funniest moments in cinematic history. The entire cast shines it the film. Greg Kinnear is so unlikeable, it's brilliant, Toni is great as the mom, and Steve Carrell and Paul Dano are perfect. There's honestly not one second that I dislike in this film.

Kristina Cook said...

LOL, you're making me want to run out and rent it NOW, rather than wait for the weekend!

Ann Christopher said...

Cosmic kid, I thought the funniest thing in this funny movie was the bus's horn--OMG, I'm laughing even now thinking about it--


Wendy Roberts said...

I picked up the movie and I've been saving it for the weekend. It sounds fantastic!