Fox Searchlight
Now playing in select cinemas

When a festival darling like “Little Miss Sunshine” reaches the local cinema, there is a lot to live up to. The middle-of-the-night wheeling and dealing that takes place at Sundance is great gossip, yes, but beyond the snow-capped peaks of Utah, who knows how an indie favorite will hit middle America. The story of the Hoover family (made up of a remarkable cast that includes Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, Paul Dano and the wonderful Miss Abigail Breslin) is very much in tune with modern American living. An underage beauty pageant takes these characters on an off-beat road trip from Arizona to California. As with all road movies, the luggage comes pouring out, lessons are learned and laughs are had. The Hoovers are just trying to make it through the day as one mishap brings on yet another. It is their character though, which reaches beyond middle-of-the-road, and endears those of us in the audience to each of them and their struggles. It’s a wonderful story, well-told.