Little Miss Sunshine

Synopsis: In Albuquerque, Sheryl Hoover brings her suicidal brother Frank to the breast of her dysfunctional and emotionally bankrupted family. Frank is homosexual, an expert in Proust. He tried to commit suicide when he was rejected by his boyfriend and his great competitor became renowned and recognized as number one in the field of Proust. Sheryl's husband Richard is unsuccessfully trying to sell his self-help and self-improvement technique using nine steps to reach success, but he is actually a complete loser. Her son Dwayne has taken a vow of silence as a follower of Nietzsche and aims to be a jet pilot. Dwayne's grandfather Edwin was sent away from the institution for elders (Sunset Manor) and is addicted in heroin. When her seven-year-old daughter Olive has a chance to dispute the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in Redondo Beach, California, the whole family travels together in their old Volkswagen Type 2 (Kombi) in a funny journey of hope of winning the talent contest and to make a dream co
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Production: Fox Searchlight
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 68 wins & 107 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
101 min

[ Man Announcing ]

The winner of a 30,000-dollar scholarship...

is Miss Louisiana, Erika Schwarz.

And the new Miss America

is Miss Kansas...

Tara Dawn Holland!

[ Audience Cheering ]


is Miss Louisiana, Erika Schwarz.

[ Audience Cheering ]

And the new Miss America

is Miss Kansas, Tara Dawn Holland!

[ Man ] There are two kinds

of people in this world-

winners and losers.

Inside each and every one of you...

at the very core of your being...

is a winner

waiting to be awakened...

and unleashed upon the world.

With my nine-step

"Refuse to Lose" program...

you now have the necessary

tools and the insights...

and the know-how to put

your losing habits behind you...

and to go out and make

your dreams come true.

[ Sighs ]

No hesitating.

[ Chuckles ]

No complaining.

And no excuses.

I want you to go out

in the world...

and I want you to be winners!

Thank you.

Thank you.

[ Woman ]

I'm on my way.

I don't know how long.

I don't know!

Richard, he has

nowhere else to go.

I'm not smoking.

I'm not!

Look, I'm at the hospital.

Yeah, okay. Bye.

[ Woman On P.A., Indistinct ]

Miss Hoover?

Your brother's fine.

I need you to keep him away

from sharp objects-knives, scissors.

If you have medications, depressants

in your house, keep them secure.

- I'd prefer to keep him, but-

- I know. The insurance.

You want to see him?

[ Chattering ]

Hey, Frank.


I'm so glad you're still here.

Well, that makes one of us.

[ Man On Radio ] A strong low pressure

system passed across New Mexico...

bringing with it a little moisture

that will cool things off a bit.

We may even see a five- to 10-degree drop

in temperatures in Albuquerque.

There will be no significant

accumulations of rainfall-

Do you want to talk or no?

- Nearly nothing, but statewide 93%-

- No.



Down here.

We have you with Dwayne.

[ Knocks ]

Dwayne, hi.

Uncle Frank's here.

He doesn't mind, Frank.

We talked.

Wha- I know. I know. But we can't have you

sleeping alone. The doctor said.

I'm sorry.

I have to insist.

You'll get along fine.

He's really quiet.

And here's your cot.

Please, Frank.


Thank you.

I'm gonna start dinner.

You can come out

when you're settled.

And, uh, just leave the door open.

That's important.

Dwayne, honey, there's

a bucket of chicken in the car.

Can you get it?

And, uh, I'll make a salad.

- Olive?

- [ Girl ] Yeah?

- Is Grandpa with you?

- Yeah.

- What are you guys doing?

- Rehearsing.

- Okay, well, dinner in 10 minutes.

- Okay.

- Hi.

- Hi. Frank's here.

Oh, God.

Did, uh, Stan Grossman call?

Well, check the machine.

- Dwayne, please, come on.

The chicken. It's in the car.

- [ Machine Beeps ]

Will you set the table?

We'll do paper plates tonight.

[ Woman On Machine ] Remember Olive

was runner-up in the Little Miss Sunshine?

- Theyjust called right now-

- Hey, it's your sister!


[ Phone Beeping ]

Hi. Richard Hoover

for Stan Grossman, please.

Any way to reach him or-

Well, I'm just wondering

if this darn book deal is done or not.

- [ Clattering ]

- If-

- Yes.

- [ Clattering ]

Okay, could you please just have him

call me anytime over the weekend?

He has my cell number.

Just to let me know we're on.

Okay? Thank you. Bye.

- So what happened with Stan Grossman?

- He's in Scottsdale.

Why didn't he call?

Will you let me

worry about this, please?

Dwayne, can you check on Frank?

Tell him it's dinnertime.

Olive! Dinnertime!

[ Olive ]


What? Dinner?

What, you don't talk anymore?

Why not?

You can talk.

You just choose not to?

Is that Nietzsche?

You don't speak

because of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Far out.

[ Sheryl Sighs ]

Frank, you can sit here next to Dwayne.

Here's the salad, and I'm gonna run

and get Sprite for everyone.

Olive, come on!


[ Olive ]


So who do you hang out with?

No one?

What about your family?

Frank! Hey!

- Richard.

- Good to... see you.

[ Groans ]

[ Dishes Clattering ]

Let me get Olive.

- Olive? Dad?

- [ Sheryl ] You guys, go on and start.

- Let's go!

- [ Olive ] We're coming.

- Frank, some Sprite?

- Yes.

And I want everyone to have

at least a little salad.

Thanks, Sheryl.


So, Sheryl, I couldn't help noticing

Dwayne has stopped speaking.

Oh, yeah, he's taken a vow of silence.

You've taken a vow of silence?

Yeah. He's gonna join the Air Force Academy,

become a test pilot...

and he's taken a vow of silence

until he reaches that goal.

- You're kidding?

- Hi, Uncle Frank.

Oh, hey, Olive.

Wow, you're gettin' big.

Almost like a real person.

- [ Chuckles ]

- [ Olive Gasps ]

- What happened to your arms?

- Olive.

That's all right.

I had a little accident. I'm okay.

- How's the, uh, routine coming, honey?

- It's good.

Yeah? When are you

gonna show it to us?

I don't know.

It's up to Grandpa.

A couple of days.

It still needs work.

What's that? Chicken?

Every night it's the f***in' chicken!

- Holy God Almighty! It is possible just once-

- Dad!

We could get something to eat around here

that's not the goddamn f***ing chicken?

- Hey, Dad! Dad!

- I'm just sayin'-

- Christ.

- When you want to start cooking

your own food, you're welcome.

- At Sunset Manor, you know-

- If you like Sunset Manor,

you shouldn't have got kicked out.

For God's sakes.

So when did you start

with the vow?

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Michael Arndt

Michael Arndt is an American screenwriter. He is best known as the writer of the films Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Toy Story 3 (2010), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). Arndt won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for Toy Story 3. This made Arndt the first screenwriter ever to be nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay for his first two screenplays. He has also been credited under the pseudonyms Michael deBruyn and Rick Kerb, which are mainly used for script revisions. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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