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FOR CRYING OUT ALLOWED: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE

Director: JONATHAN DAYTON & VALERIE FARIS

USA • 2006 • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 101 MIN


FOR PARENTS MAROONED WITH THEIR BABIES, STARVED OF THE CHANCE TO SEE OUR BEST FILMS, COMES FOR CRYING OUT ALLOWED.
Simply bring your baby with you, park your buggy with us, and enjoy the show. We provide babychanging facilities.

THE BIG HIT OF THIS YEAR’S SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE IS A GENUINELY DELIGHTFUL COMEDY ABOUT A FAMILY OF MISFITS ON A ROAD TRIP TO A TALENT CONTEST.
Ace pop promo directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have resisted pumping up the quirk-factor in their debut feature, and instead let the foibles speak for themselves—avoiding cruel caricature in favour of warm-hearted observation and suggesting that the shared recognition of individual tics actually brings people together.
Not that you’d surmise this to begin with. Dad (Greg Kinnear, thrumming with white-collar desperation) is a motivational speaker struggling to make a buck, leaving his wife (Toni Colette) to keep the household together as their Goth son (Paul Dano) persists with a Nietzschean vow of silence, while foul-mouthed heroin-snorting grandpa (Alan Arkin, a hoot) trains their perky young daughter (Abigail Breslin, from the intense Keane) for a shot at the Little Miss Sunshine junior talent contest. Having to mount a suicide watch for mum’s ultradepressed Proust scholar sibling (Steve Carell, the 40-Year-Old Virgin himself!) isn’t what they needed, especially when the whole clan have to pile into a clappedout VW motor-home to drive to the Little Miss Sunshine event. The escalating comic chaos is to be expected, but it is flawlessly executed, the underlying affection in Michael Arndt’s barbed screenplay pointing up the farcical elements because we’ve grown to root for this motley lot. All this and a show-stopping finale to match Muriel’s Wedding in uproarious kitsch. Trust us, you’ll love it. —Trevor Johnston.

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