Little Miss Sunshine

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Little Miss Sunshine

In the film “Little Miss Sunshine”, the central theme of the film is based on the connotation of “winners and losers”. The opening scene uses a montage of characters of a dysfunctional family to introduce and portray each character’s personalities and perceptions in life and to ultimately portray their obvious undesirable traits that force them into a minority if continual dysfunction and not belonging. The first of these is of a young girl, Olive Hoover, where the extreme close-up of her face overwhelmed with large glasses, reflects scenes of a beauty pageant through the use of camera cutting. Here the concept of winners and losers is touched upon as Olive watches the winning scene of a beauty pageant repetitively, mimicking the actions. The implication of winning is then further elaborated with the voice-over of Richard Hoover, Olive’s father, promoting his ‘Refuse to Lose Plan’, where the use of a low angle shot suggests that he is a superior and authoritative figure. Ironically enough, the camera pans to his audience, which is none other than a classroom of children, diminishing his position of power instantly. As the opening montage continues, it reveals the other key characters: An unconventional drug-using Grandpa, Dwayne’s training and commitment to enter flight school and Cheryl’s distress concerning her family’s welfare. The montage closes with a close-up of Frank’s face showing a blank expression as he battles depression after a suicide attempt. Juxtaposition is used in the conclusion as the title “Little Miss Sunshine” is superimposed on a close up of his face. The concept of winning being continually upheld in high gratitude as ‘the ultimate’ within the film continually down treads every family member’s chance at belonging. In the film, winning represents happiness and a chance for normal functionality and belonging not only to one another but to a society and other groups within it, however their continual failure or...
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