Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Basics: If a failed 'motivational speaker' dad, a suicidal gay uncle, a stressed mom, a heroin-snorting grandpa and a Nietzsche-loving brother were not enough, little Olive Hoover has a quirk of her own. She wants to win the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. When Olive gets selected for the finals, the Hoover family pack into their Volkswagen mini-bus for a two-day road trip to California.

What I think: One of the reasons I loved Little Miss Sunshine was that it featured a dysfunctional American family, not the Lived-Happily-Ever-After ones usually depicted in Hollywood cinema. And though the Hoovers go through several distressing events on their way to California, you can only laugh as they deal with one problem after another.

A dark comedy that warms the cockles of one's heart, the film is both funny and touching. The characters are flesh-and-blood human beings and I found myself warming to each of them.

Regrets: Alan Arkin didn't quite deserve an Oscar for his role as Grandpa. Am not finding fault with his acting but then he's barely there for 15 minutes. Am being mean but probably the Academy wanted to honour the veteran actor before he passed away. That said, the film deserves a separate Oscar for Best Ensemble Cast.

Rating: ****

Remarks: Feeling blue? DO NOT MISS IT

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