The surprise indie hit of 2006 is now out on Blu-ray and if you did not see it in the theatre do yourself a favour and pick it up. Something about the Hoover family in this film really struck a chord with movie goers. We fell in love with the multitude of quirky characters. Though they are portrayed as the average American family they are anything but…or maybe they are…
Olive (Abigail Breslin – Raising Helen, Signs) is a young girl with a dream – she wants to win the Little Miss Sunshine Pageant. Her family wants to see her succeed so when she has an opportunity to compete in the state competition they move heaven and earth to make sure she gets her chance.
As money is a bit tight, the entire family piles into their beat up Volkswagen van and decide to drive almost non-stop for two days to California. In the van is Richard (Greg Kinnear – Sabrina, We Were Soldiers), the father who trying to become a motivational speaker without much luck, Uncle Frank (Steve Carell – from television's The Office), who has come to live with the family after an unsuccessful suicide attempt, Cheryl (Toni Collette – Sixth Sense, About a Boy), the frazzled mother who is trying to hold things together, Dwayne (Paul Dano – Fast Food Nation, The Ballad of Jack and Rose), Olive's teenage brother who has taken a vow of silence, and last, but certainly not least, Grandpa (Alan Arkin – America's Sweethearts, Grosse Point Blank), a senior with a dirty mouth, mind and a drug habit. This is certainly not going to be your average family road trip.
It definitely was the feel-good comedy of the year. It is a family vacation movie that is unlike any you have seen before. Despite its indie statue, directors Jonathan Dayton (director of many music videos including Janet Jackson and R.E.M.) and Valerie Faris (director of many music videos including Weezer and Red Hot Chili Peppers) were able to attract an all-star cast who all gave marvelous performances. These performances were crucial in a film with no special effects that is all about the characters. Surprisingly, the best acting comes from 11-year-old Abigail Breslin. Her portrayal will make you laugh, cry and your heart ache. It is a nuanced and mature performance from such a young actress. The future looks bright for her.
It is not a film without flaws as at times it feels a little contrived, but it is still thoroughly enjoyable. To sum it up, this dark comedy about a dysfunctional family will make you laugh throughout until the end which is unexpectedly moving.
-On the Road With The Hoovers: The Making of Little miss Sunshine
-We're Gonna Make It… A session with Mychael Danna and DeVotchka
– Who Are The Hoovers?
-No One Gets Left Behind: The Music of Little Miss Sunshine
-"Till The End Of Time" Performed by DeVotchka From the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack
-FOX on Blu-ray