Yeah, it was nominated for and won some Academy Awards, obviously my review is coming a little late. I had every intention of seeing it in the theatre, and it seems to me that I was one of the first to get behind it. Anyway, that’s all in the past, I have now seen the movie, and it was spectacular!
I definitely appreciate Toni Collette in a role where she’s not downtrodden and depressive. Steve Carell is very good in a somewhat more cerebral role than usual, and Greg Kinnear plays fairly serious with a touch of comic relief. I’m not sure Alan Arkin deserved the Oscar for Supporting Actor: while his character is pretty good, he’s not in the whole movie and his character’s influence is not driven by the acting, it’s just part of the story.
The family leads a bit of a hard-knock life, but they seem to be getting by well. Abigail Breslin‘s character, 7-year-old Olive Hoover, is intelligent, open-minded and has a very healthy self-image. The story tells about the pitfalls the hard-knock family encounters while trying to get Olive from their home in Albuquerque, NM to Redondo Beach, CA for the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant.
I think the best part for me (and this might be a bit of a spoiler, so I won’t go into too much detail) was some obvious commentary about the questionable nature of the pageant. All of the 7-year-old participants are presented as implicitly sexual, with lots of make-up and revealing bikinis and gowns. Even their talents tend to have a certain sexuality as well. But Olive’s talent performance is overtly sexual and the audience is outraged. The hypocrisy is HI-larious!
8 out of 10 saltines. Very good, lots of fun.
Here’s a funny SNL sketch featuring “Abigail Breslin”.