Indie Gems: Little Miss Sunshine
All through the 2006-2007 Oscar season this film was referred to as "The Little Film that Could." It's a very true statement for this sleeper hit. This film literally came out of nowhere and captured nearly everyone's hearts.
"Little Miss Sunshine" follows the slightly dysfunctional Hoover family and their road rip to get young Olive (Abigal Breslin) to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. They all pile into their VW Van. There's Richard, (Greg Kinnear)the business obsessed father. Sheryl (Toni Collette) the caring mother. Crabby Grandpa/coach Edwin (Alan Arkin). Mute brother Dwayne, (Paul Dano) and suicidal uncle Frank. (Steve Carrell) We follow the family as they try to stay sane, and learn lots of lessons on the way.
The thing that made this movie so wonderful was that all the characters are rather conflicted, but still manage to be charming. Writer Michael Arndt could've let this story go in a depressing direction, but he didn't. With every tragedy, there was a joke. For every failure, their was a lesson. You could tell by the end of the film that even though this family spent a good portion arguing, they really did love each other.
Alan Arkin winning Best Supporting Actor was nearly an upset. (I, like many other thought Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls) had it.) Arndt won best screenplay. Little Abigal Breslin got a Best Supporting Actress nom. The biggest honor for this film was that it was nominated for Best Picture, and actually had a shot at winning.
LMS made such an impact at the Oscars that now whenever a charming Indie comedy makes it into the Best Picture Race (ie Juno) they are referred to as "This year's Little Miss Sunshine."
Memorable Quote: "I'm madly in love with you and it's not because of your brains or your personality. It's because you are so beautiful." - Grandpa Edwin (Alan Arkin)