Little Miss Sunshine

July 21, 2007 - This 2006 comedy came "thisclose" to stealing the Oscar for Best Picture at the 2007 Academy Awards. It did win for Best Original Screenplay, and Alan Arkin won as Best Supporting Actor. Young Abigail Breslin was nominated as Best Supporting Actress but lost.

Breslin plays Olive Hoover, a homely little girl from Albuquerque who dreams of being a beauty queen. Those dreams suddenly seem within reach when a contestant in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant is disqualified and Olive, as runner up, is chosen to replace her.

The problem is the pageant is Sunday, just a few days away, in California. For the Hoover family, this is not a good weekend for a road trip. Dad (Greg Kinnear), a motivational speaker, is waiting for word about a business deal. Mom (Toni Collette), has just invited her suicidal brother (Steve Carell) to live with them. And, Grandpa (Alan Arkin), who's already living with them, is a foul-mouthed heroin addict.

Everyone has doubts about whether Olive can actually win. But, as a motivational speaker who believes there's a winner in everyone, Dad can't exactly say no to his own daughter. So, everyone piles into an old VW bus and they head to California.

Overall review: **** It's great. The film says a lot about family sticking together and supporting and believing in each other. And, Olive's talent? Priceless!