Little Miss Sunshine - Not what I expected. Not a real comedy--my God, the movie opens with a sister (played by Toni Collette) heading to the hospital to pickup her brother (played by Steve Carell), who just failed a suicide attempt. It's the kind of film you almost feel strange about laughing at. What you are laughing at is objectively quite sad, but you laugh in spite of that. AND it's not because the characters are making fun of the situation--NO! The acting performances in this film feel amazingly genuine and real; the performances are top notch from the entire cast.
But the direction, how the scene is blocked and edited...that's what makes the humor come out, at least in some places.
I felt like I could relate to every character in this film. At one point in my life or another, I was Olive, Richard, Dwayne, Grandpa, Sheryl, and Frank.
Abigail Breslin, who plays Olive Little Miss Sunshine did a fantastic job. Where do these kids get so good at acting. Maybe part of it is the incredible actors they have around them. No shyness or self-consciousness in this performance by Breslin. She comes off as a real kid with a real dream. Excellent. I thinks she played Bo in M. Night Shyamalan's Signs.
Steve Carell does a FANTASTIC acting job. The pain and emotion he communicated through his well-bearded face just grabbed me by the throat. I thought he was "just" a comic. No, this guy is an absolutely incredible dramatic actor. He's certainly been typecast--indeed, his presence in the film led me to think this was a comedy. One look at the emotion in his eyes...incredible dramatic work from a normally comedic actor.
But everyone was fantastic. Greg Kinnear was perfectly cast and pulled out an emotional, "right on" performance. Paul Dano, who didn't have many lines, also gave a powerful, emotional performance. Dano is really an excellent young actor. I want to see more of this guy.
And Alan Arkin, what a master! I really wanted to see more of his character in this film. Arkin just took over when he had a scene. Fantastic, memorable performance.
Last but not least, Toni Collette. As the mother/wife/sister in this film, she pulls everyone together. Tremendous job. I feel like I should know her from somewhere, but I can't place her. Will have to investigate.
In summary, Little Miss Sunshine is well worth seeing, but don't expect a light-hearted comedy. This is rich, emotional film, showcasing an ensemble cast who made filled the screen with feeling...and some humor.
Main Cast Little Miss Sunshine
Abigail Breslin .... Olive Greg Kinnear .... Richard Paul Dano .... Dwayne Alan Arkin .... Grandpa Toni Collette .... Sheryl Steve Carell .... Frank Marc Turtletaub .... Doctor #1 Jill Talley .... Cindy Brenda Canela .... Diner Waitress Julio Oscar Mechoso .... Mechanic Chuck Loring .... Convenience Store Proprietor Justin Shilton .... Josh Gordon Thomson .... Larry Sugarman Steven Christopher Parker .... Teen Boy #1 Bryan Cranston .... Stan Grossman
|Little Miss Sunshine [DVD]|
|Little Miss Sunshine [SOUNDTRACK]|