Thursday, January 25, 2007

Film Review: Little Miss Sunshine

So there's this new video store near my place. I don't know how widespread they are. It's called Videoself and what happens is that you take out movies using a computer and automatic dispenser 24/7 for the low low cost of just $1.99 for 6 hours or just over $3 for a day.

Pretty sweet. I was waiting for the problems to start.

Anyhow, I signed up and got a debit type card. I put on $20 and they added $5 as a promotion. I rented Citizen Kane that night (don't ask).

The other night, though, I rented one of the Oscar films I'm trying to catch up on: Little Miss Sunshine.

I'd heard very good things about it and although I hadn't taken the time to see it in the theatres, I was looking forward to watching it now, mostly because of the very good cast.

Right off the bat I appreciated the quirkiness of the movie. I give writers/directors/actors lots of credit for trying to make a "different" movie. It shows effort. But it doesn't always work.

Overall, I liked this movie. The cast did a terrific job and I enjoyed the "road trip" aspect. If I had a bone to pick, it was with the use of the various characters. In my mind, Alan Arkin and Steve Carell were the highlights of the movie but (to varying degrees) they essentially disappear halfway through the movie. The story is pretty much left in the hands of Greg Kinnear, who had an interesting role, but I didn't sympathize with him nearly as much as I think I was supposed to.

I really enjoyed Paul Dano as Dwayne. I actually thought the movie would have been better served by making him the focus of the denouement.

Abigail Breslin was charming in her own right. As to whether or not she deserved an Oscar nomination, well, that's another discussion for another day.

If you haven't seen this movie, go rent it before the Oscars.

Thumbs up.

Oh yeah: the widescreen side of the dvd I was watching froze in the last 5 minutes (arrrggghh!) - fortunately I was able to watch the ending using the full screen side. Seeing as I returned the movie after the attendant had left, I inserted a note in the case for the next renter.

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