Little Miss Sunshine


MOVIE REVIEW by Harriet Robbins

The low-budget film LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE was one of five 2006 productions nominated for Best Picture at the recent Oscars. Although the film did not win, the impact it has made on audiences and critics alike has been remarkable. (Alan Arkin won a statue for his supporting role).

SUNSHINE deals with a dysfunctional family struggling to cope with its many traumas and problems. The father is unable to motivate his family and help them achieve success. The harried and confused mother is an equally ineffectual human being. There is a suicidal and homosexual uncle, a disenchanted teenager full of anger and hostility, a grandfather whose avenues of escape include pornography, drugs and bursts of bad temper. Then there is seven-year-old Little Miss Sunshine, whose hopes and dreams are fueled by the fantasy of winning a national talent contest.

Despite all this chaos and neurosis, the family manages to survive its road trip across the USA. Encountering obstacles and booby traps all along the way, the family answers with humor and resilience. In the end they learn that a family can find peace and success in life if it pulls together, loves one another. It's a message of hope for each and every one of us.

The film's uplifting storyline won a well-deserved Oscar for the screenwriter.