I have a small piece in Variety today summing up the Oscar chances of Little Miss Sunshine:
So there's this plucky underdog trying to get to Southern California to compete for the prize of "Little Miss Oscar." As far as it has come, how can we be sure it'll make the final cut?
The Academy Award prospects of "Little Miss Sunshine" echo the unlikely but compelling pageant hopes of the film's young heroine, Olive. A black comedy with feature-film rookies in the writing and directing slots, with a script that took years to move into production at a sub-$10 million budget, "Sunshine" lacks the sonorous import of the typical Oscar champ but still emerged as one of the most beloved movies of 2006: fun, unpretentious and charming.
Sundance Film Festival audiences gave "Sunshine" a standing ovation (which was then followed by a rights sale to Fox Searchlight for $10.5 million). Though a few complain that the film wears its quirks on its sleeve, "Sunshine" will make too many year-end top-10 lists not to receive nomination consideration, following in the footsteps of recent personal tales "Lost in Translation" and "Sideways." ...