When a pudgy, bespectacled seven-year-old, Olive (Abigail Breslin), voices her desire to take home the coveted Little Miss Sunshine crown at an upcoming beauty pageant, her wildly dysfunctional family sets out on an interstate road trip to ensure her a clear shot at realizing her dreams in former music video directorial team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' quirky feature debut, starring Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, and Toni Collette. Despite early career success as an outspoken motivational speaker, family patriarch Richard (Kinnear) continues to cling to his "Refuse to Lose" philosophy, much to the chagrin of his increasingly annoyed spouse, Sheryl (Collette). Add into the mix a Nietzsche-reading teenage son (Paul Dano) who has taken a vow of silence until he finds his fate as a fighter pilot; a horny, heroin-happy grandfather (Alan Arkin) with a penchant for creative profanity; and a suicidal genius and Proust scholar (Carell) still reeling about losing both his male lover and his MacArthur Foundation genius grant -- and the stage is set for a road trip in which sanity is sure to take the back seat. Fox's 2006 DVD release offers a commentary track by first-time directing duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris as well as writer Michael Arndt, and deleted scenes.
4 alternate endings with directors' commentary
Directors' commentary by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Screenwriter's commentary by Michael Arndt with directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Music video "Till the End of Time" performed by DeVotchKa from the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack
This is one of my favorite movies. The family was perfectly casted and the actors work off each other so well. The writing is top notch and the Academy award for best screenplay was deserved. I adore the soundtrack as well.
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Rated 4 out of 5 stars
LMS was the start of the true underdog-nominations at the Oscars. Giving love and appreciation for the little low-budget darling with a lot of heart was a wonderful step for the Academy and showcases a wonderful ensemble cast with a sweet story. Alan Arkin took home Oscar good for his turn as the no-nonsense grandpa!