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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.

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1,111 ( 115)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 68 wins & 104 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Doctor #1
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Mechanic
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Convenience Store Proprietor
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Teen Boy #1
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Where's Olive? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 August 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pequeña Miss Sunshine  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fox Searchlight bought the rights to distribute the film at 2006 Sundance for $10.5 million. See more »

Goofs

In a number of midday highway scenes the van's shadow is cast on the driver's side. This is only possible if the van is driving east, not west towards California. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Words with Warwick: Kathleen Kennedy (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Change the World
Written by Jon Ehrlich
Performed by Jon Ehrlich
Courtesy of Jeco Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One Of The Best Movie "Gifts" I've Gotten This Year...
26 July 2006 | by (Arlington, VA.) – See all my reviews

It is very rare to see a movie that can charm the hell out of an audience without the use of special effects, worn-out clichés and bombastic action set pieces these days. It's even more ridiculous to hope that you will see such a film for FREE. But that's exactly what happened to me tonight at a sneak preview of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE.

I "discovered" this movie right here at IMDb, having heard not a peep about it beforehand. By the time I finished watching the second trailer for the THIRD time, I was floored...and hooked. Luckily, the Bulletin Boards steered me toward the proper link to access sneak passes for tonight's showing, and all I can say is that it will not pain me one bit to pay for the privilege of seeing this gem a second time.

Assembling the best and most unlikeliest of ensemble casts you may probably see all year, SUNSHINE on the face of it is a relatively (pun intended) simple story. Little seven-year-old Olive (Abigail Breslin) has one wish in life: to be considered for the finals of the Little Miss Sunshine Pageant in Redondo Beach, CA. When her big chance comes at the most unexpected time, it's up to her unbelievably fractured family to pull themselves together and make it happen for her, no matter what it takes.

And what it takes is a sad, painful, tragic and yet unendingly hilarious trek in a barely operational VW bus from Albequerque, NM to the Pageant. And although getting there is only half the fun and family drama, you have got to see what happens to believe it when they finally arrive and Olive gets to "do her thing." The strong cast sounds not a single false note, and when the more touching moments arrive, they don't seem forced the way they would in most other big-budget behemoths, because these moments are truly earned. But WHAT a collection of characters this is. Greg Kinnear is letter-perfect as Olive's judgmental, failed motivational-speaker father; Steve Carell finds new shades of darkest despair and human comedy as her suicidal gay uncle, a leading Proust scholar; Paul Dano does amazing things with little more than facial expressions as Olive's older brother who's deep into Nietzche and a vow of absolute silence, and Alan Arkin, though he has played this kind of role with both hands tied behind his back and his eyes closed, still shines like a crazy diamond as her cantankerous and hedonistic grandfather.

And barely holding this motley crew together is Toni Collette, who amazes by playing a mother again and yet manages not to portray the role exactly the same way, (you might recall her Oscar-nominated turn as Haley Joel Osment's put-upon mom in THE SIXTH SENSE.) I'm not at all familiar with the work of the two directors, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, or the writer, Michael Arndt, but they have definitely raised the indie film bar with this effort. Not a single moment is wasted; not a single scene is in this film without having a reason for being there, and it's all character-driven. There's also nothing fluffy about it - commentary about everything from how twisted our pop culture can be, to how our drive for being #1 winners can blind us to all of the things that are the most important are all there under the bittersweet laughs and tears for the audience to discover.

I can't recommend this one highly enough. And I can't wait to see it again.


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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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