Frank Ginsberg
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Biography for
Frank Ginsberg (Character)
from Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

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Frank Ginsberg is the brother of Sheryl Hoover and the uncle of Olive Hoover. He joins the family on their road trip to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant after not being trusted by Sheryl to be able to look after himself at home. He has been evicted from his apartment and fired from his job as 'the highest rated Proust scholar in the world' after doing several 'things that he shouldn't have done' to try and get back at his rival Larry Sugarman, who has more success than him in their career and with Frank's love interest, Josh. Just having been released from hospital after attempting suicide by cutting his wrists Sheryl is entrusted with his well-being. When she sees him she bursts into tears and exclaims that she is 'so glad that [he's] still here'. Frank solemnly replies 'that makes one of us'. Over dinner with the rest of the family Olive asks him what 'happened to his arms'. He explains to the seven-year-old, to brother-in-law Richard's distaste, that he wanted to end his life after Larry Sugarman was given a 'Genius Grant' ahead of him for his book on Proust. Frank has also written a book on the same subject which he considers a masterpiece. It is publicly unrecognized however and has gained little press credit. Throughout the film he bonds with his introverted nephew, Dwayne. He explains to Dwayne the benefits of suffering and how in life you must face struggles head on. This talk comes shortly after Frank informs Dwayne that he is colour-blind and therefore cannot fulfill his dream of being an air-force pilot. He also responds well to Grandpa Edwin, who mocks him continually but playfully for being gay. The pair form a close bond. Frank's relationship with Richard is strained throughout the film. He disagrees with Richard's self-help spiel and takes a sarcastic view to his 'nine-step' program to happiness. Richard describes Frank to Olive as someone who 'gave up on himself' and explains that this is 'something winners never do'. Richard is also embarrassed by Frank when a policeman finds homosexual pornography in the car and assumes it is Richard's. The two men however become close by the end, dancing and laughing with each other onstage at the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. Frank supports Olive throughout and when she is booed at the pageant he states that he will 'f***ing kill them'. Frank's depression does not disappear during the film though and even during his most ecstatic moments he shows signs of sadness and grief. The audience are constantly reminded of his internal struggle, especially when he is faced with obvious triggers. One of these events happens at a gas station where Frank is buying pornography for Grandpa Edwin and a blue raspberry Slushie for himself. There he meets Josh, the graduate student he fell in love with but got jilted by. They talk briefly and Frank tries to downplay his situation and congratulate Josh on his lover's (Larry Sugarman) success. After Josh leaves Frank looks out the window where he sees the pair looking back at him. He ducks down and the couple laugh and drive away. Overall Frank is an incredibly stable character given his situation and is a constant bed-rock for other characters to latch to in times of distress. He is caring, humane and intelligent. He does not take kindly to self-help and prefers, as he says to Dwayne, to suffer and learn from that suffering. It is also worth noting that it is hinted heavily that Frank is an atheist, having been made to believe if there was a God he would go to Hell anyway for being gay.

Page last updated by benjaminashton1, 3 years ago
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