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Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

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


1,117 ( 162)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 68 wins & 107 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Doctor #1
Convenience Store Proprietor
Larry Sugarman
Teen Boy #1


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


Everyone just pretend to be normal 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 USA:

$370,782, 30 July 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Both Toni Collette and Abigail Breslin previously appeared in M. Night Shyamalan films: Collette in The Sixth Sense (1999) and Breslin in Signs (2002). See more »


In the first dinner scene where the family is eating chicken, Sheryl pours Dwayne some Sprite. Later when the shot shows the whole table, the bottle is completely full. See more »


[first lines]
Richard: There are two kinds of people in this world, winners and losers.
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Rodeo Queen
Written by Darvin Jordan
Performed by Lindsey Jordan
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

More than a fresh ray of sunshine!
7 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

Here is a film that lives up to the expectations of a very funny trailer. It's an oddball comedy, and it's dark, and it's funny, and it's touching, and it will charm the pants off many in the audience. Here is a simple story in which our lovely contestant and her family try to find their way to California so that she can prove to the world she is not a loser! The premise itself can lead to years of therapy for a family that should get a group rate in psychiatric care.

Expert editing and superb comedic performances from all the principals involved will have many overlook the fact that the plot line is a little too contrived at times. The set pieces will have the audience howling with laughter as we see different characters trying to overcome some pretty irreverent obstacles. The scene at the gas station contains moments of deep sadness and offbeat humor, something that Carrell pulls off wonderfully, and none will be able to look at the trunk of a car, some dubious literary material, and highway patrol the same way after seeing the infamous scene in the film.

The best is of course, saved for last, and by this time we are waiting for something outrageous which "Little Miss Sunshine" delivers unapologetically. A classic track will probably be recharged for a new generation, as the bonds of family precariously balance a moment that could be as tacky as they come.

"Sunshine" is one of the best things to come out of American cinema this year, an original film that relies on a script that understands the differences between generations in the same family. It doesn't explain why each character is as quirky as can be, and it doesn't build much background because it is not needed to make the film work. Kinnear, Colette, Abigail, Arkin, and Correll are a fine team and keep the film's feel fresh throughout the film. Here is a family that has no special qualities or powers, a family that will make us rejoice that creativity is still alive in Hollywood, a film that will provide us with plenty of much needed sunshine in an otherwise pretty dull summer.

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