I have just looked at the date when Little Miss Sunshine was released and was stunned to discover this film is already a decade old. I remember quite clearly sitting down in the cinema to watch this gem of a film... and it is still a terrific watch ten years on.

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine marked the feature film directorial debut of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, as they made the leap from television and music videos for the first time.

It is one of the best directorial debuts of recent years and really is a joy and a gem of a film. It went on to be a thoroughly deserved critical and commercial success before being nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture.

The directors brought together a truly wonderful and talented cast as Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, and Alan Arkin all-star.

The movie follows the dysfunctional Hoover family as they take a cross-country trip in their VW bus to get young daughter Oliver to the finals of the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant - there is humour, heartbreak, and disappointment along the way.

Firstly, Michael Arndt has done a wonderful job crafting this script as it is a warm and human story that is packed with so much heart and charm.

Little Miss Sunshine brings together a fine cast and while it does touch on darker themes of death and suicide the film is an uplifting and warm movie experience as it shows the importance of family. The film works well as both a comedy and a drama and neither one suffers from the existence of the other, it is hysterical without ever losing its human feel.

From the opening scene to the closing credits, Little Miss Sunshine is a really engaging drama as you get drawn into the lives of this dysfunctional family. From the moment that you meet the Hoover's, you care about them and want them to succeed; not only as a family but also individually.

Of course, Faris and Dayton were no strangers to the director's chair when they started work on Little Miss Sunshine and that is something that really does show. This is an assured and confident directorial debut that never misses a beat. For me, it is one of the best debuts in recent years and is a film that I go back to time and time again.

Little Miss Sunshine was one of the breakout movies of the Sundance Film Festival that year and it is not hard to see why it charmed audiences and critics when it got a theatrical release.

The film went on to gross $100.5 million at the global box office, which is not bad for an independent film. Little Miss Sunshine would win two Oscar; Best Original Screenplay for Arndt and Best Supporting Actor for Arkin.

Sadly, since the success of Little Miss Sunshine, we have only see Faris and Dayton work on one other movie - which came six years later in the form of Ruby Sparks. However, the duo is set to return Battle of the Sexes, which is a live-action adaptation of the tennis documentary of the same name.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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