'Little Miss Sunshine' wins the pre-Oscar beauty contest
Monday 22 January 2007
It only cost $8m (£4m) to make, but Little Miss Sunshine has become a serious contender for an Oscar after emerging as the surprise winner at an influential Hollywood awards ceremony.
The film won best picture award at the Producers Guild of America over the weekend. It follows the Hoover family as they take to the road to get their seven-year-old daughter, Olive (played by Abigail Breslin), into the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest. The story depicts sexualised little-girl monsters strutting their stuff in the competitive world of wannabe babes.
The nomination from the Producers Guild of America - an association made up of film and television producers - has previously been echoed at the Academy Awards, where the Oscars are handed out. It has predicted the eventual best-picture Oscar 11 times in the past 17 years - although not for the past two years.
Last year, the Guild chose Brokeback Mountain while the Academy eventually went for Crash and the year before it went for The Aviator, the story of Howard Hughes' life featuring Leonardo DiCaprio which lost out to Million Dollar Baby on Oscar night.
However, many of the Guild's members also belong to the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences, which awards the Oscars. The Oscar winners will be announced on 25 February during the 79th annual Academy Awards.
Little Miss Sunshine has been a commercial and critical hit - earning $60m in the US so far. At Saturday evening's ceremony it was up against much more expensively produced movies - including cultural drama Babel, crime thriller The Departed, musical Dreamgirls and The Queen, starring Helen Mirren.
In other awards given out by the Producers Guild, Cars was named the year's best animated movie. NBC's The Office - the US adaptation of Ricky Gervais's BBC sitcom - won the award for the best television comedy series. The non-fiction television award went to CBS's flagship news show, 60 Minutes.
Abigail Breslin, star ofLittle Miss Sunshine, has previously appeared in two movies - Keane and The Santa Clause 3. The film is directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris - both of whom are established in music television and commercials. This is their first film feature.
Little Miss Sunshine also stars Alan Arkin as Olive's grandfather, a heroin-snorting womaniser, Greg Kinnear as his son Richard, an uninspiring motivational speaker, and Paul Dano as his grandson Dwayne, the proud possessor of a "Jesus Was Wrong" T-shirt who reads Nietzsche and has taken a vow of silence until he qualifies as a pilot. Toni Collette plays Richard's wife, Sheryl, who is forced to look after her suicidal brother Frank (played by Steve Carell), a gay literary genius in meltdown.
It was released by Fox Searchlight, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Amy Winehouse film director: 'I wanted to show the fun, bright-eyed girl we didn't know'
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Contemporary art is a fraud, says top dealer
Family Guy, BBC2 - review: The Simpsons crossover highlights gulf between the cartoons
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture