Indie film flies through Brookings

Bridget Nordquist

Bridget Nordquist

Being from the backwoods of South Dakota, I occasionally feel I’m out of the loop concerning entertainment. This is particularly true regarding new and important movies. As a movie lover, it kills me to read about a potentially amazing smaller film and not see it for months.

Where I live in northeastern SD, very few independent movies ever appear in theaters, even in Aberdeen. Sioux Falls does show smaller films on occasion at the colossal Century Theatres. To its credit, Cinema 5 here in Brookings picks up indie-type films sporadically. However, the smaller films take months to arrive, if they do at all, and are shown for a week at the most.

Consequently, when I heard about a critically acclaimed film called ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ I was mad to see it. The movie finally came to Brookings this past week after being widely released months ago. However, if you’re reading this column and have a sudden urge to see the movie tonight, I have bad news. It’s long gone, and you’re left counting down days before the DVD releases.

If you didn’t have a chance to see the film, I’ll give you sneak peek so the anticipation can build. ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is one of the best movies I’ve seen in months. It contains everything I love in a film-quirky characters, belly laughs and the right touch of sentimentality.

The story follows the Hoover family as they travel across the country to enter daughter Olive in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. The family trip storyline has been used and abused, but here’s a movie that finally gets it right. The humor is smart, while the dark side of film is poignant and moving.

Every cast member beautifully and believably portrays their eccentric character. Of course, I judged a few standout performances. Abigail Breslin (the little girl from ‘Signs’) plays Olive in a terrifically loveable, un-annoying way. Greg Kinnear as the motivational-speaker dad is wonderfully irritating, while still being pitiful. Finally, I have to mention Steve Carell. It doesn’t seem to matter who or what he plays, Carell is always great. In ‘Sunshine,’ he’s stuck with his relatives after a botched suicide attempt. His character is serious and reserved yet still subtly hilarious.

Maybe it’s your lucky day, you can catch ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ at a cheap theater somewhere. Unfortunately, unless it’s a blockbuster, you’re not going to find it in Brookings for long.