Review: ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is a dream, girl

BY GENE SEYMOUR
Newsday Staff Writer

July 26, 2006

Richard Hoover (Greg Kinnear) is a motivational speaker who, like too many of his fellow Americans, believes that people come in only two categories: winners and losers. If you suspect this is the kind of single-mindedness that marks the consummate loser, you would be correct. Richard’s nine-step program to success, “Refuse to Lose,” is so cheesy that he can’t find anyone to swallow it.

Richard is a patriarch of thwarted dreamers in “Little Miss Sunshine,” the cunning little comedy that won many hearts at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. His wife, Sheryl (Toni Collette), checks her skepticism toward Richard’s life plan at the dinner table of pre-fab foodstuffs. Teenage son Dwayne (Paul Dano) has pledged complete allegiance to Nietzsche’s philosophy, assuming a sullen vow of silence until he can escape the family’s Albuquerque manse to fly high-performance aircraft.

Video
'Little Miss Sunshine' Trailer
‘Little Miss Sunshine’ Trailer (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

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Pageant wins on slow summer night

NBC’s Miss Universe pulls a 3.2 in 18-49s

Jul 24, 2006

In an era of declining ratings for beauty pageants, simply holding onto the previous year’s audience is an accomplishment. If that happens to give the network carrying the pageant a big boost over the previous week in this very slow summer, all the better.

Last night NBC got a big week-to-week bump for its Sunday night lineup thanks to the “Miss Universe” pageant, which averaged a 3.2 adults 18-49 overnight rating from 9 to 11 p.m.

While that was even to last year, when the pageant aired in early June, NBC did see a 4 percent bump in total viewers, from 9.2 million in 2005 to 9.6 million last night. Its household rating was down slightly, from 6.1 to a 6.0.

But in a summer when almost no shows have produced big ratings, and Sunday evenings have been particularly dismal, NBC got a very nice bump in its 18-49 average the previous week, going from a 2.0 to a 2.5 to win the evening.

“Miss Universe” was the highest-rated show of the night among 18-49s, with only Fox’s “Family Guy” at a 2.9 even coming close. The pageant peaked with a 3.4 in the final hour, including a 3.6 at 10:30 p.m.

Rather than saying much about the pageant, “Miss Universe’s” decent ratings may say more about the lack of selection on TV than anything else. Broadcast had mostly repeats last night, and HBO’s Sunday night lineup has been fairly weak this summer.

Sadly, the pageant was not without its problems. After she’d been crowned the winner, Puerto Rico’s Zuleyka Rivera collapsed during a post-pageant press conference, fainting because her dress was too tight and the room too hot. She was said to be fine shortly thereafter.

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Miss Universe contender faces charges

July 24, 2006

INDONESIA’S Miss Universe entrant may face indecency charges after a hardline Muslim group complained to police about her appearance on a Los Angeles stage in a bikini.

The women’s chapter of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) want Indonesian authorities to prosecute Miss Indonesia, Nadine Chandrawinata.

The group’s lawyer Sugito, who uses only one name, said Ms Chandrawinata “intentionally and openly engaged in indecency” before she was eliminated after the contest’s first round.

“Her vulgar appearance at Miss Universe is an insult to Indonesian women,” he said, adding that beauty pageants run counter to the culture of Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation.

Sugito said a still valid government decree issued in 1984 when dictator Suharto was in power bans Indonesians from taking part in beauty pageants.

Although the decree technically remains in force, authorities have relaxed the ban since Suharto’s downfall in 1998.

Indonesia sent Artika Sari Devia to the 2005 Miss Universe pageant, its first entrant in almost a decade.

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New Miss Universe passes out

(Reuters)
Updated: 2006-07-24 14:07

The newly crowned Miss Universe, Puerto Rico’s Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza, collapsed during a post-pageant news conference and was rushed off stage Sunday night.


Newly crowned Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza of Puerto Rico is carried offstage by a security guard after fainting following a news conference at the Miss Universe 2006 Pageant at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in this July 23, 2006 in this video frame grab. [Reuters]

Pageant officials said shortly afterward she had passed out.

“She’s OK. She’s fine,” said pageant representative Lark Anton. “She got dizzy. Its very hot up here. Her dress is tight as you could see it was beaded and heavy. … She passed out.”

Earlier pageant officials had called “Is there a nurse in the house?” after Mendoza slumped during the media appearance.

The 55th Miss Universe contest was held at the fabled Shrine Auditorium near downtown Los Angeles. It was a homecoming of sorts. The first Miss Universe pageant was held about 25 miles (40 km) away in Long Beach, California, in 1952.



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Miss Universe Faints As Reign Begins


(AP) Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza’s reign as the new Miss Universe got off to a rocky start when the 18-year-old from Puerto Rico fainted briefly after winning the crown.

Rivera passed out after posing for pictures and taking questions at a news conference after Sunday’s show. She was given liquids and quickly recovered, said pageant spokeswoman Esther Swan.

Rivera, who was wearing a dress made entirely of metal chains, had been standing under hot stage lights for some time in the stifling auditorium when she began to topple over. Someone caught her as she fell.

Rivera, 18, won the title over 85 other contestants. Kurara Chibana of Japan was first runner-up; Lauriane Gillieron of Switzerland was second runner-up; and Lourdes Arevalos of Paraguay was third runner-up. Miss USA Tara Conner finished fourth.

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World of drama at Miss Universe

July 25, 2006 12:00
Article from: The Daily Telegraph

SHE beat a saucy photo scandal to win her place in the pageant but Australia’s Erin McNaught could only look on as Puerto Rican Zuleyka Rivera was crowned Miss Universe yesterday.

Despite her favouritism with bookies, McNaught failed to make the first cut, missing out on a place in the top 20.

The result stunned the Shrine Auditorium crowd in Los Angeles, but none more so than the 18-year-old winner, who dramatically fainted after her win and had to be carried off stage.

McNaught played down suggestions her topless past could have cost her the crown. “I was a little disappointed, but I can honestly say I don’t think it was an issue when it came around to the judging,” she told The Daily Telegraph.

However an emotional national director, Jim Davie, said he was still considering legal action against local factions he claimed had been “harmful” in digging up her pictorial past.

Mr Davie, who has run the Australian chapter of the pageant for the past 15 years, also claimed the Latin-heavy judging panel worked against a local win.

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Puerto Rico wins Miss Universe

MISS Puerto Rico, Zuleika Rivera, has won the Miss Universe 2006 pageant.

Beauties from 86 nations had gathered in Los Angeles for the 55th Miss Universe pageant, vying to succeed Canadian Natalie Glebova.

Glebova, Miss Universe 2005, was on hand to place the $US250,000 ($333,000) crown on Rivera’s head.

The event, run by real estate mogul Donald Trump’s organisation, now attracts most interest in Latin America and in the Asia-Pacific region, though it is broadcast to an estimated 600 million people in 170 countries.

Australia’s Erin McNaught failed to make the final 20 in the competition, which began in Los Angeles this morning (AEST), despite being a favourite with bookmakers.

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