Saturday, February 3, 2007

Best Picture Nominees Part I: Little Miss Sunshine

[rate 4.5]

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/VWyH_twcMl0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

In the spirit of Oscar season, I plan to review each of the best picture nominees. If I do actually manage to see them all before Oscar night (I have for the last three years), I'll post my pick for best picture.

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE


After last summer's vast desert of forgettable movies, Little Miss Sunshine was a true oasis, a real find. It was a light hearted satire that wasn't afraid to visit the darker side of human nature.

The Hoovers, a dysfunctional family if there ever was one, took a road trip across the country so their pre-teen daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) can enter the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest. That was the plan, and they all wanted Olive to go. But with the dynamic hodge-podge of personalities--A dad who's a wannabe motivational speaker, a mom who tries too hard to keep everyone happy, a son who took a vow of silence and hates everyone, a suicidal, homosexual uncle, and an I-don't-give-a-crap-I'll-say-anything-I-please grandfather--the trip was anything but "A to B".

Each obstacle they faced was harder to overcome, and funnier, than the last--with a climax that you have to see to believe. I laughed so hard, I cried.

What I really liked about this movie was that it didn't turn into a feel-good cliche where all the characters realize how much they love each other at the end. This movie is only about one thing: getting to the beauty contest at all costs, and not being a loser.

In addition to best picture, the screenplay, Abigail Breslin, and Alan Arkin were also nominated.