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Little Miss Sunshine Film Study

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by

Elle Templeton

on 15 March 2013

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Transcript of Little Miss Sunshine Film Study

The Myth of the Winner What do you think the myth of the winner is? Things to discuss in the character profile:

Who are they? Where do they stand in the pecking order of the family? When is it their turn to jump into the bus?
What are their motives for going on the journey?
What is their moment of crisis in the journey? How is it resolved. The Road Movie Characters go through a journey of discovery that is both literal and figurative. Satire and Subversion in Little Miss Sunshine The beauty pageant Technical Elements The Soundtrack A long history of journeys Little Miss Sunshine is a more recent example of a road film. As a literary genre, the concept grew out of the advent of motor cars in the early 20th Century. There is a shift away from the 'frontier' of old American westerns to the wide open spaces of newly civilised America covered with roads - the new frontier.

On The Road, by Jack Kerouac, explores this new frontier. Written in 1958, the novel explores an emerging culture of relatively affluent young adults who travelled across America in search of excitement, fulfillment and fresh perspectives. A Film Study Little Miss Sunshine The Literal Journey The characters journey through a
physical landscape, often characterised
by vast stretches of nothing but land.

There is the sense that the film has a drive similar to the journey the characters are making. The Breakdown How does Little Miss Sunshine invert
this particular aspect of the genre? "No One Gets Left Behind" The road movie has a typical ending, a crash. This signifies an explosive resolution of the main conflict in the movie. What is the main movement in Little Miss Sunshine?
How is this movement communicated to the viewers?
(Think about the technical aspects of shooting) "Every character in this story undergoes a major
transformation - even the family's VW bus." How does the VW serve to help draw the family together?
In what ways is its steady disintegration a metaphor for what
is happening within the family? The figurative journey The road comes a symbolic testing ground for
each character.

The journey that they physically
embark on is paralleled by a journey of self-discovery,
where the characters break away from the constraints of tradition, authority, stability, normality and security. The Journey of the Characters Each character in Little Miss Sunshine embarks on their own journey. They each meet a moment of crisis, and somehow change through the film.

IN SMALL GROUPS: fill out a character profile. Be sure to include references to specific moments in the film. You must present your character to the class. Journeying away from social rules The Conclusion During road movies, there is a sense of the freedom
of the road, a liberation from the confines of "normal"
society. Where do you see this split in Little Miss Sunshine?

As a family, do you think the Hoovers had already split
from the stereotype of the "normal" family unit
BEFORE they journeyed to California? The family unit The hospital Grandpa The theme of winning and losing is present right through the film. What is the pervasive message regarding winning and losing that Little Miss Sunshine communicates? Which scene(s) communicate this idea the best? The ending of a road film is typically that
of a crash, or sudden ending. Little Miss
Sunshine subverts this, and ends with the
beginning of another journey. How does this ending wrap up the film?
What elements help to provide a warm feeling
at the end of the film? Camera Angles The script Lighting and Colour "There are two kinds of people in this
world - winners and losers" - Richard
Now there's no sense in entering a contest if you don't think you're
going to win. Do you think you can win Little Miss Sunshine?" - Richard I don't want to be your family! I hate you people! I hate you! Divorce! Bankrupt! Suicide! You're losers!" - Dwayne How do the various members of the family see success? Why are they
all so obsessed with succeeding in their different ways? "A real loser isn't someone who doesn't win. A real
loser is someone so afraid of not winning they don't
even try." - Grandpa Is Grandpa's definition of losers better than the rest of the family? Why?
Why does Grandpa have such a different definition?
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