best films: #45: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (2006)
Thanks to a great ensemble indie cast and a delightful little script, Little Miss Sunshine is an enduring comedy that sets itself apart from the seemingly endless flow of quirky Sundance fare of late. With a typically comical Steve Carell as the unstable uncle, an always-wonderful Toni Collette as the well-meaning mom, a surprisingly poised performance from little Abigail Breslin as the pageant-queen daughter Olive, an obnoxiously perky Greg Kinnear as the motivational speaker dad, a moody Paul Dano as the self-muted brother, and a top-form Alan Arkin as the foul-mouthed grandpa, it’s a wonderful ensemble. It was a well-deserved entrant in the Academy Awards running in 2006, though it seemed its acting should’ve been more noted by awards groups. Now there’s just the matter of getting screenwriter Michael Arndt to work more often. At least he’s got Toy Story 3 coming up.