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Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  18 August 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 335,544 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 881 user | 269 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.


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Won 2 Oscars. Another 65 wins & 96 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Doctor #1
Convenience Store Proprietor
Teen Boy #1
Stan Grossman


In Albuquerque Sheryl Hoover brings her suicidal brother Frank to the breast of her dysfunctional and emotionally bankrupted family. Frank is homosexual, an expert in Proust. He tried to commit suicide when he was rejected by his boyfriend and his great competitor became renowned and recognized as number one in the field of Proust. Sheryl's husband Richard is unsuccessfully trying to sell his self-help and self-improvement technique using nine steps to reach success, but he is actually a complete loser. Her son Dwayne has taken a vow of silence as a follower of Nietzsche and aims to be a jet pilot. Dwayne's grandfather Edwin was sent away from the institution for elders (Sunset Manor) and is addicted in heroin. When her seven-year-old daughter Olive has a chance to dispute the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in Redondo Beach, California, the whole family travels together in their old Volkswagen Type 2 (Kombi) in a funny journey of hope of winning the talent contest and to make a dream ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Where's Olive? See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sex and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 August 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pequeña Miss Sunshine  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$370,782 (USA) (28 July 2006)


$59,889,948 (USA) (23 March 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bryan Cranston ("Stan Grossman") and Dean Norris ("State Trooper McCleary") have supporting roles, and also star together in AMC's Breaking Bad (2008). Breaking Bad (2008) is also set in Albuquerque. See more »


At dinner, Sheryl pours Frank almost a full glass of soda. In the next shot Frank's glass is nearly empty. See more »


[first lines]
Richard: There are two kinds of people in this world, winners and losers.
See more »


Featured in The 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2007) See more »


Written by Sufjan Stevens
Performed by Sufjan Stevens
Courtesy of Asthmatic Kitty Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A highly enjoyable ensemble road movie - funny stuff
22 June 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I saw Little Miss Sunshine a week ago at the Sydney Film Festival, and the audience I saw it with loved it. There was a lot of laughter going on - especially at the hilarious ending. And amidst the jokes it deals smartly with it's theme of the value of chasing your dreams and being one of life's 'winners' versus valuing what you already have. Or put another way, it celebrates the joys of losing in a culture obsessed with winning.

I'm not going to go into detail about the plot, as the film hasn't been widely released yet. There are no huge plots twists, but I think you'll have more fun with this film if you don't know exactly where it's going.

As the film started I wasn't so sure about it. All the characters (apart from Toni Colette's perhaps) seemed to be written as being amusingly quirky in a predictable indie-comedy way. But as the movie went on it became easier to warm to them. I think it helped that the actors appeared to be having genuine fun together. These guys don't feel like much of a family at first, and I wondered a couple of times why these people would bother sticking together, but as things progress the strengths of this particular family unit become obvious. And just as all comedies should, it gets funnier as it goes on. I was pleased to see the script stayed true to it's messages all the way to the end, and didn't turn preachy or maudlin. The whole cast work excellently together, and I hope this film has all the success it deserves once it's released.

330 of 444 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Am I the only one who disliked this lethargic sad movie...???!! daduka83
amazing movie, but ArtAesthetics
Why did Dwayne have to go on the trip? JumeirahSun
Favorite characters? robeacero1
Were those REAL pageant girls? TheKonrad821
Why was Olive in a fat suit? UltimaGabe
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