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Little Miss Sunshine

Release date: July 26, 2006
Directed by: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Written by: Michael Arndt
Produced by: Albert Berger, David T. Friendly...
Running time: 101 minutes

Olive (Abigail Breslin) is a pudgy seven-year-old, aspiring beauty queen; her father Richard (Greg Kinnear), a struggling motivational speaker who can't help but push; and her mom Sheryl (Toni Collette), who has to bring her brother Frank (Steve Carell) home after his failed suicide attempt. When they are all forced to hop into the old VW bus to take Olive to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, this is either a portrait of the most dysfunctional family you've ever seen or the absolutely tragicomic journey of a family whose lives are in for a change.

Cast & Characters

Greg Kinnear (Richard Hoover), Toni Collette (Sheryl Hoover), Steve Carell (Frank Ginsberg), Abigail Breslin (Olive Hoover), Paul Dano (Dwayne), Alan Arkin (Grandpa Edwin Hoover), Bryan Cranston (Stan Grossman), Beth Grant (Pageant Official Jenkins), Mary Lynn Rajskub (Pageant Assistant Pam), Marc Turtletaub (Doctor No. 1), Jill Talley (Cindy), Brenda Canela (Waitress), Julio ├ôscar Mechoso (Mechanic), Robert O’Connor (Pageant Judge No. 1), Gordon Thomson (Larry Sugarman), Matt Winston (Pageant MC), Chuck Loring (Convenience Store Proprietor), Justin Shilton (Josh), John Walcutt (Doctor No. 2), Paula Newsome (Linda), Dean Norris (State Trooper McCleary), Wallace Langham (Kirby), Lauren Shiohama (Miss California), Jerry Giles (Funeral Home Worker), Geoff Meed (Biker Dad), Joan Scheckel (Judge), Mel Rodriguez (Officer Martinez)

Production Notes

The script was written by Michael Arndt and was originally about an East Coast road trip from Maryland to Florida, but was shifted to a journey from New Mexico to California because of budget issues. During pre-production, no studio was found to helm the project. Financed by producer Marc Turtletaub himelf to get the film made. Steve Carell was a relative unknown in Hollywood when cast as Uncle Frank. According to an article in Entertainment Weekly, the producers of the film worried that he wasn’t a big enough star and didn’t have much acting experience. However, between the time the film was shot in the summer of 2005 and its release in the summer of 2006, Carell became a huge success as the star of the high-grossing film The 40 Year Old Virgin in August 2005 and the leading character of the popular television series The Office.

“Little Miss Sunshine” took 2005’s Sundance Film Festival by storm, stirring up a bidding war to become the highest selling film in the festival’s 24 year history. Bought and distributed by Fox Searchlight, the film went on to be a box office hit, scoring $100,523,181, and a critics’ darling as well. At the 2007 Academy Awards, “Little Miss Sunshine” won two Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin), garnering two more nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Abigail Breslin) and Best Picture. Toni Collette received nominations for the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award as Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Awards & Nominations

  Screen Actors Guild Award – Best Ensemble
  Phoenix Film Critics Society Award – Best Ensemble
☆   Golden Globe Award – Best Actress in a Comedy
☆   British Academy Award – Best Supporting Actress
☆   AFI Award – Best International Actress
☆   Central Ohio Film Critics Association – Best Ensemble
☆   Chicago Film Critics Award – Best Supporting Actress
☆   Alliance of Women Film Journalists – Best Actress in a Comedic Performance
☆   Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards – Best Supporting Actress
☆   Gotham Award – Best Ensemble
☆   Satellite Award – Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical