Tuesday, August 22, 2006

edinburgh film festival 8/21

Little miss sunshine
Steve Clarell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin


Hmmm. Maybe beauty is only skin deep...

Determined to get their seven-year-old daughter to the finals of the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant (though, in truth, she's only a wild-card entry), a seriously dysfunctional family take a cross-country trip from New Mexico to California in their battered VW van. There's an ambitious, motivational-speaker dad (Greg Kinnear); a harried, 'pro-honesty' mom (Toni Collette); a foul-mouthed, heroin-snorting grandad (the great Alan Arkin); and a gay uncle (comic genius Steve Carrell), suicidal after being rebuffed by one of his students. And, of course, the would-be Little Miss Sunshine herself: tubby, fragile, yet monomaniacally pursuing her dream... The undisputed hit of this year's Sundance Film Festival, this darkly funny comedy is at once a skewering of the American Dream, and a bittersweet, surprisingly touching ode to the modern family.

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