February 20, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine Redux

Okay, so I watched Little Miss Sunshine (2006, dir. Dayton & Faris) again tonight. I'm still at two minds about it. Yes, the first hour and ten minutes or so are really quite great and lovely, but... that ending. It frustrates me. Two many questions raised unanswered. The very ending (with them driving off into the sunset) is a big disappointment. It just ends it. As if they ran out of a way to finish it properly without leaving a smidge of bitterness in the viewer's mind (the special features on the DVD, quite humourously, point this out).

But, still, god I was even more impressed with Steve Carell. I couldn't even believe it. I didn't think I could like him anymore in this film, but it appears I could. Why didn't he get any awards traction? So bizarre. I was also impressed by Paul Dano much more this time (who now with The King and Fast Food Nation moves into my UMA Supporting Actor lineup). I was less impressed this time with Alan Arkin. I had forgotten how he soon he exits the film. I'd be more than happy for him to win the Oscar though. He's still ace. Collette and Breslin were still lovely and I picked up some things I hadn't the first time. Just some of the looks that Breslin gives. Kinnear...? I dunno. I'm not a fan of him and his everyman thing, but he's fine I suppose.

This film, for me, is a perfectly nice film - never entirely outstanding outside of Carell's performance - but even the negatives I have towards the film don't ever really allow it to dip into truly bad territory. I just wish the last 20 minutes or so were done a bit differently. I'm not sure how, but I just have too many issues with it. Still, it could've been worse. It could've descending into revolting and insulting absurdity like The Last King of Scotland (sorry fans of that film, I'll be digging my claws into that piece of roadkill garbage for a long time). I am literally on the border of a B and B+, so I will not give it a difinitive grade. I'll just let it hang in the limbo inbetween.

RIP Steve Carell's awards campaign.

edit: So the mother likes watching the Oscars, but I have no idea why because she rarely gets to see any of the movies nominated! So I made her watch Little Miss Sunshine and she really liked it. I wonder which she liked more: Little Miss Sunshine or Hard Candy. That was a strange moment. Anyway. I've got Monster House in the player right now and after that Friends with Money. And they're due back at Blockbuster by tomorrow night. eep.


adam k. said...

Yeah, it's incredibly strange that Carrell never got ANY traction, especially considering he's coming off of The Office AND 40 Year Old Virgin. AND that he's about 10x better than Alan Arkin. I'm trying to tell myself it's NOT cause Frank's gay and has a semi-happy ending. It's NOT that. And it's not cause they were freaked out by Frank and Duane's unique male bonding. (please...)

I adore Greg Kinnear in this, too, though. He just absolutely NAILS that well-meaning conservative alpha-male personality type. Totally totally nails it. I admire that performance so much. It's so wonderful to watch him learn to love Olive despite her being a loser. His face when he sees her on the catwalk warms my heart.

Speaking of that, I love the whole last act of LMS. I give the big "whatever" to your disapproval. Sorry ; ) To each his own.

I will give you the thing about the other storyline not being wrapped up. But it just didn't really bother me. I really do think it was related mostly to Richard's stubbornness, which was clearly softened at the end. I felt there was an implied resolution there.

adam k. said...

Oh yeah, and Paul Dano rules. I wanna see everything he's ever done now. I've only seen this and L.I.E.. (have you seen that?)

Kamikaze Camel said...

L.I.E. has never received a release in Australia as far as I know.

Shame. I've heard such glowing things about it as well as Dano and Brian Cox.

I blame the Carell-awards thing on the fact that there was just so much competition in the film. They had to pick their battles and they chose the elderly Arkin.

adam k. said...

I think you have to chalk it up also to the fact that voters must have related more to Arkin's character than Frank's, and hence were more moved by it. Arkin has veteran heat, but Carrell has "of the moment" heat, what with all his popularity and hit movies/shows, so they had some incentive to honor him.

It's not so much just the oscar snub as the fact that he got NOTHING all season long. No critics, no satellite, no globe, no SAG, no IFP, no nothing. And that's just wrong. The Departed managed some multiple nods in this category, so LMS should've been able to, too. Sad.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I am happy Paul Dano got a indie spirit nod though.