Monday, 28 January 2013

"Little Miss Sunshine" by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

“Life is one fucking beauty contest after another.”

A girl is stood watching the pictures of Miss America on television, and imitating her movements at the same time. Her dad is giving a “refuse to lose” speech in front of some students. Her brother is doing exercise in front of philosopher Nietzsche’s picture. Her granddad is taking drugs. Her mother is on the car in the way to the hospital, where her brother is; while she is talking on the phone.

So begins the 2006 American movie “Little Miss Sunshine”, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who are actually a couple. It was written by Michael Arndt. Its running time is about 100 minutes.

This movie tells the story of Olive Hoover, a girl who is looking forward to become a model after having won a beauty contest. Her family is not a usual family. Her father, Richard, is obsessed with victory (“There are two kinds of people in this world; winners and losers.”)
Olive’s granddad takes drugs and her uncle tried to kill himself and her brother Dwayne has made a vow of silence. “Dwayne has a goal. He has a dream. It may not be my dream. It may not be yours, but he’s pursuing it with great conviction and focus.”
On the other hand, her mother Sheryl is the one bringing normality to the family. The whole family will start a journey to California to allow Olive to take part in a very important contest, but they will have many obstacles in their way.

The main subject of “Little Miss Sunshine” is happiness, but it also deals with the concept of family and the society’s convictions concerning beauty, for instance.

Abiagil Breslin as Olive Hoover

Regarding the direction of photography, yellow and blue are the most significant colors along the movie. Actually, the van in which they travel is yellow.

The cast is also remarkable. It is led by Abiagil Breslin in the role of Olive. She performed in this movie when she was just ten years old, but her work is brilliant. Moreover, Paul Dano plays the part of Dwayne; Alan Arkin plays the part of Edwin Hoover; Greg Kinnear acts as Richard Hoover; Steve Carrel as Frank Ginsberg; Toni Collette as Sheryl Hoover, etcetera.

The biggest character’s arc is probably Dwaynes, because he changes his motivations and principles along the movie. On the contrary, Olive and her mother hardly change, but their roles are still very interesting.

A very curious and surprising fact about the shooting is that it only lasted for thirty days (although they began working on the movie on 2001). Anyway, the shooting duration is not common at all, because a regular movie shoot takes approximately three months.

Concerning the genre, “Little Miss Sunshine” is supposed to be a comedy. However, it is mixed with tragedy.

The music used in this movie, by Mychael Danna and DeVotchKa in incredibly appropriate to contribute to transmit the main substance of the movie. Actually, it transmits optimism and it allows the development of the narration. The soundtrack includes a total of 14 songs.

“Little Miss Sunshine” probably owes part of its fame to its release at Sundance Film Festival. After that, it received many awards and acknowledgements, including three BAFTA prizes and two Academy Awards as Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Alan Arkin.

The awards for its screenplay are almost undeniable, because it is outstanding. There are three highly prominent acts, which are easily recognizable because each of them takes place in a different stage. The first act corresponds to the house of the family; the second one is related to the van where they travel, and the last one is taking place at California, where the contest happens.

In conclusion, you must watch this movie not only because of the screenplay but also for all the other aspects of this movie that contains a very deep message in it. Its motto could be: you don’t need to be like the others to be happy.

“[…] all those years he suffered, those were the best years of his life, ‘cos they made him who he was.” Little Miss Sunshine

1 comment:

  1. Muy fans de este film, de todo el viaje que hace esta familia, por carretera e interno, para llegar a esa magistral escena final, crítica, pero sin perder el buen humor.

    A ver qué hace el guionista con 'La guerra de las galaxias'!