Synopsis by Mark Deming
Academy Award-winning actress Sally Field makes her debut as a director of a theatrical feature with this gently satiric comedy. Mona Hibbard (Minnie Driver) is a woman from a small town in Illinois who never enjoyed much of a rapport with her parents. Looking for approval and validation, Mona began entering local beauty pageants in her early teens; now in her early 20's, Mona is still grimly determined to one day walk away a winner as she finds herself in the early innings of the Miss American Miss competition, organized by Verna Chickle (Kathleen Turner). Somewhere along the way, Mona became a single mother; determined not to let this stand in the way of a pageant victory, Mona has persuaded her best friend Ruby (Joey Lauren Adams) to raise her daughter Vanessa (Hallie Kate Eisenberg) as her own. However, Vanessa seems to have sensed that something is wrong; she feels a much greater bond with Mona than her "mother," and (like nearly everyone else), she's noticed that she looks a lot more like Mona than Ruby. Beautiful also features Kathleen Robertson, Bridgette Wilson, and Leslie Stefanson.
beauty-pageant, beauty-queen, ambition, determination, pageant, award, single-parent