Review Of Little Miss Sunshine

Somewhere along the line, watching movies with the same plot-line, the same clichéd plot, and the same emotional garbage, you numb yourself. You stop empathizing with the characters in the movie. You don't give a flying shit when the protagonist falls into fits of crying, because you've seen all this before. You know what to expect. Little Miss Sunshine succeeded where many failed.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Characters in this film are utterly absurd most of the times, and I believe it is because the film captures them as they are. As we all are. We see ourselves in the shoes of these characters without ever being remotely relatable to them whatsoever.
Olive, a seven year old girl gets selected for the "Little Miss Sunshine" pageant, and due to financial troubles and other logistical conditions, they are forced to take the entire family along in their van. A road trip from Albuquerque to California in a vintage, run down yellow Volkswagen van, consisting of 6 members follows. A financially troubled couple, a heroin addicted grandfather, a suicidal uncle and a silenced elder brother all have shattering emotional turmoil throughout the trip. But they put it all aside to make sure Olive makes it to the pageant to compete. The satire at the beauty pageant is funny to the point you laugh out loud. Some scenes in the movie are very intense. I found myself holding my breath throughout those scenes. Steve Carell did some incredible acting, very refreshing to see him in a more serious role, and not in any way did it seem forced. Abigail acted very well, no debates, but Paul Dano managed to act really well seeing he didn't talk almost throughout the whole film.

I see a lot of movies, but few of them have what I want to watch. I do not know what it is that I want watch, but 'Little Miss Sunshine' gave me that and more. This movie is a celebration. It's the closest a movie got me to cheer, feel sad, believe in the characters and rejoice in their happiness with no strings attached. The closest I feel a movie has got to convey pure feelings. My favourite part of the film is the vintage, yellow, run-down Volkswagen van. It's just got so much personality.

- Vrishti Nadkarni