Little Miss Sunshine

 (5,045)7.81 h 42 min2006X-RayR
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus. A quirky, heartfelt comedy-drama. Winner of two Oscars.
Directors
Jonathan DaytonValerie Faris
Starring
Abigail BreslinGreg KinnearPaul Dano
Genres
ComedyDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.

Watch for $0.00 with Prime

Add to Watchlist
Add to
Watchlist
By ordering or viewing, you agree to our Terms. Sold by Amazon.com Services LLC.
Write review

More details

Supporting actors
Alan ArkinSteve CarellToni ColletteGrant HayesJustin ShiltonAlissa AndereggJerry GilesBeth Grant
Producers
Marc TurtletaubDavid T. FriendlyPeter SarafAlbert BergerRon Yerxa
Studio
20TH CENTURY FOX
Rating
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Smokingsubstance usealcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

5045 global ratings

  1. 85% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
Write a customer review
Sorted by:

Top reviews from the United States

Sony_XLReviewed in the United States on October 21, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
wonderful performances
Verified purchase
It would be unfair to limit the film to one adjective. But charming is the first one that comes to mind. I really don't know how they did it, but the screenwriter Michael Arndt and directing team Dayton/Faris (Jonathan and Valerie, that is) have managed to create a movie in which we are simply so connected to the characters it's frightening. This is a very quirky bunch, and while their traits can be found in everyone we know, they are certainly extremely weird and I certainly don't know any families who are quite as odd as the Hoovers. And yet, we forge such a strong bond with each and every one of them, right from the opening pre-title introduction sequence - probably the best character introduction sequence I've seen since Magnolia. These people are just so real! It's unbelievable just how three-dimensional these characters are. They remind me of The Squid and the Whale - another recent movie that comes to mind when I think of this type of character development - these are just normal, regular people, and the filmmakers developed them as such in the most in-depth, well thought-out and just ingenious way possible.

That brings me to the second adjective: Realism. If you've seen the film you know that some pretty wacky things go on in it, but in the end, these people are just plain real. They are real human beings - at least we the viewing audience come to believe. If they weren't so incredibly well thought out and detailed and rounded, we wouldn't forge such a strong bond with them. But fact of the matter is, the Hoovers have quickly become one of the most memorable cinematic families. Their traits. Their flaws. Their dreams and ambitions. Their dynamics, mannerisms, nuances. Every tiny little detail about these people is just so incredibly portrayed.

Obviously, it would be unfair to say that a comedy isn't funny. When Little Miss Sunshine gets funny, it's hilarious - we're talking pitch-black dark and very quirky comedy, but it works admirably, reaching sort of a peak in the infamous, hilarious and totally wacky traffic cop scene.

The acting is. Simply put, amazing. You won't see any Oscar moments here, no characters that have some particular traits that require various forms of "method acting" to perform. This is simply actors playing a bunch of people who they are clearly quite unlike, but playing them as if they are. The shining star is young Abigail Breslin, who out-acts pretty much all of her older cast-mates. How she can embody a completely other character at such a young age is completely beyond me - and she's been doing it since age 6! Dakota Fanning, watch out! Paul Dano, the other young actor, also delivers an amazing performance. Myself being fresh out of that period of my life, I can say that his portrayal of a frustrated teenager - specifically in the scene where he just explodes (those who have seen the movie will know what I'm talking about) is just so true and realistic. Arkin is brilliant as the old grandfather, who is at once quite annoying and vulgar and at once the most human of all the characters. The three adult leads also deliver wonderful, nuanced performances - Toni Colette, who has quite a streak of wonderful performances in various films, particularly impressed me.
10 people found this helpful
SurfingPandaReviewed in the United States on November 23, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Totally glossed over the first time watching. Normalizes the sexualization of children.
Verified purchase
So, this received good reviews when it came out and won a lot of awards. When I first watched it, I thought it was cute, irreverent, and dealt with hard to discuss issues.

Clearly, I glossed over the completely inappropriate and pedophilic subtext of it all. The grandfather is pretty disgusting. I don't care how provocative he was supposed to be and if that was the point and it was supposed to "cool."

The grandfather teaches the little girl her dance routine while he's leaving in the basement. She's left alone with him as he is her coach. Gee, how good is her dance routine? A strip tease. This is disgusting. The grandfather talks about how he used to have sex a lot in his retirement home but was kicked out. So, now he gets to watch his granddaughter practice her striptease routine for a beauty contest. The little girl could have easily learned a breakdancing routine if they wanted to do something different.

If you really want to get a message out of this besides the typical trials and tribulations a family goes through and what they do for each other because they are family, it is this: if you don't have talent, that's ok. Just dance in a sexual way with no moves that require actual skill. And, teach that to your female children.
7 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on April 29, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Endaring portrait of a dysfunctional family stuck in a VW bus on a roadtrip
Verified purchase
Little Miss Sunshine is a story about a dysfunctional family. Steve Carell is Frank the uncle. He was a professor that got fired, lost his home and tried to kill himself. His sister Sheryl played by Toni Collette is married to Richard played by Greg Kinnear who is a motivational speaker and self-help coach who spews out catch phrases about being winners and losers non-stop to everyone and is a bit of a jerk. They have a son Dwayne played by Paul Dano who is into the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, hates everyone and has taken a vow of silence. The other child is Olive played by Abigail Breslin who wants to be a beauty queen and is going to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine contest hence the movie title. Finally, there’s the grandpa Edwin played by Alan Arkin. He trains Olive for contests, gets high and talks about how much he wants to have sex. They take a trip together in a Volkswagen bus to go to the Little Miss Sunshine competition in California. That’s the source of the comedy and drama as you put these odd characters all together stuck in a very small bus on a roadtrip.

There are plenty of examples about what a bad mix this family is. Dwayne writes a note to Frank when he arrives at their house that says, “Welcome to hell.” Richard tells his daughter Olive not to apologize because it’s a sign of weakness and then tells her that if she eats ice cream she’s going to get fat and that’s not what beauty queens look like. Olive is about 10 years old, and that’s her dad’s message to her. The whole point is putting this group of people together in a bus for several days is going to lead to nothing but trouble.

The movie is a very endearing portrait of a family with problems with lots of laughs thrown in as well.
C
4 people found this helpful
Anne S.Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Flat out laugh out loud.
Verified purchase
This is a favorite movie for many reasons. The off-beat nature and pacing of this film, the terrific character development, the writing, performances, film score ~ it's a hoot.
The serious note in this film, which they get so right, is the message about mental illness. We need each other to pick ourselves up, forgive ourselves, and move ahead to happiness.
11 people found this helpful
KristinReviewed in the United States on December 16, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good indie flick
Verified purchase
I didn't appreciate this movie enough when it first came out. I liked it but was underwhelmed because it was marketed as a "laugh-out-loud" comedy. It's more realistic than funny. In fact, if you watch it as a comedy, you will be disappointed and possibly depressed. If you watch it with a completely open mind, you'll enjoy it and maybe even find it humorous.

I think another reason I didn't like it before and can appreciate it more now is because it came out when I was a teenager and my family is similar to the one depicted. When you're a teenager, you don't want to watch a movie that basically feels the same as hanging out with your crazy family. Nowadays, I like to look back on that time with more mature eyes and this film helps with that.
14 people found this helpful
AliceReviewed in the United States on October 19, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Disgusting, foul language, boring, WOKE.
Verified purchase
Kept trying to watch boring movie. finally disgusted with really terrible language (including lots go blasphemy). Seriously,, do we have to watch trashy people wipe their butts in order to convey the authenticity and gross nuances of their daily lives? A truly creative team could convey this very well w/o bringing everyone )I mean audience, too) down making a movie such as this. Agendas, including LGBTQ pushed, of course, so all the awards this movie got is about as predictable as a Meryl Streep WOKE Oscars speech. and I have to wonder who all came out in droves to give this movie 5 stars. The whole thing is just wrong, with the grandfather and the little girl's striptease act. This is the kinds of gross stuff from Hollywood that keeps bringing us down. I am seeing how movies and videos from Africaan and other countries are not so creepy and corrupting as moved made in America.
D. LangReviewed in the United States on January 28, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Would watch again
Verified purchase
I just love this movie. It's a great reminder that joy can and often does come in the most unexpected moments in the most unusual circumstances. Life is an adventure we take together. I laughed so much. Very touching.
14 people found this helpful
librichReviewed in the United States on January 2, 2017
3.0 out of 5 stars
fine craft, bogus idea
Verified purchase
There are quite a few good things about this film. Extremely well written, acted, directed. Structurally, it's a very well told story with a real idea. The problem is that the idea is bogus. The father of the family has a laughable concept of winning and losing which he is trying unsuccessfully to market. This is the premise which the story means to question. His seven-year-old daughter wants to follow dad's path by winning a beauty contest, which is depicted in laughable terms. At the end, the daughter loses the beauty contest, but we've learned that winning the contest really didn't matter. So what's the idea? Well, grandpa, who is the source of wisdom in the story, tells the daughter that what counts is trying to win, having the courage to try. Idea-wise, that's a cop-out. You're not going to summon your courage to try to do something if you don't put a high value on it. And all the positive things that occur to the family occur as a by-product of the daughter's passionate and courageous effort to win the beauty contest. So if we are clear-eyed about the story values, we can only conclude that winning means a lot to humans, and the caricature of the father's laughable concept is nothing but a straw man. Beneath the bogus story idea is a politically correct cultural attitude toward competition, which is both false and destructive. What matters is what you choose to excel at, not whether you embrace excellence. The writer loads the dice, shows us a venue for competition which is inherently laughable, and tries unsuccessfully to extend that condemnation to competition in general.
2 people found this helpful
See all reviews