“Whatever Little Miss Sunshine is about, it isn’t about anything bad,” Oscarwatch.com’s Sasha Stone wrote yesterday morning, echoing Richard Corliss‘s just-posted views in Time. “It’s all good. It deals with the goodness of humanity underneath it all; it has an idealist’s view of people. It is the only one of the five [Best Picture nominees] that does.
“The country needs to vote for Little Miss Sunshine because to do anything else opens the door to the truth. We can’t handle the truth, not right now, not when we don’t really know what’s coming next.
“Like the psychiatrist who tells Alvy Singer in Annie Hall that “the universe won’t be expanding for billions of years yet, Alvy, so why don’t we enjoy ourselves while we’re here?”, films like Little Miss Sunshine, Crash, Million Dollar Baby and A Beautiful Mind affirm our need to believe that we are all honorable, good people. Moreover, [that] good people win even when they’re losing.”
And yet each of the above-listed films burrows into some pretty dark places. They may have presented positive portraits of their characters and worked with sanitized and/or tidied-up plots, but they don’t give the impression of shirking or sugar-coating life in its more subterranean realms. Family dysfunction, career failure, suicide, insanity, euthanasia, racism — hardly escapist-minded subject matter.