Little Miss Sunshine

Rated 4.0

A fun ensemble flick starring Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin and Toni Collette. When Richard (Kinnear) and Sheryl’s (Collette) daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) becomes a finalist in a beauty pageant, a family packs into a rundown VW bus and heads to California for her big chance. The clan includes Sheryl’s suicidal brother (a wonderfully downbeat Carell), her silent son (Paul Dano) and Richard’s heroin addict father (Arkin). The trip gives them plenty of time to argue, which often results in some funny heated exchanges. Arkin is especially funny as the frank grandfather, pissed off after being kicked out of a retirement home, where he had plenty of ladies to choose from. Relative newcomer Breslin (who was so good in Signs) delivers one of the better child performances of recent years. Kinnear continues to excel at uncomfortable characters, while Carell shows he has an ability to do something other than straight comedy.