Research: Little Miss Sunshine and Shot Essay

Submitted By Bubbles1995
Words: 809
Pages: 4

The irony of the entire film is clearly demonstrated through the opening sequence, for each scene introducing its main character includes sort of contradiction or conflict between meaning and action. The film begins with an extreme close-up of the little girl’s eyes; she is watching TV as an announcer is about to declare the winner of the Miss America pageant. The scene cuts back and forth alternating between shots of the protagonist, Olive Hoover, and the television showing two glamorous beauty queens. The shot of the protagonist grows wider after each jump cut showing the little’s girls appearance. The more you see the girl, the more the irony becomes evident because of the contrast between the two shots; you have a shot of an overweight six year old with a goofy clothes and a shot of two twenty-something beautiful women with big hair and glitzy jewelry. The next scene introduces the girl’s father Richard Hoover who begins a motivational speech about how to become a winner. An Inspirational song by DeVotchKa plays in the background, the scene is motivational and the father seems to be directly speaking to his daughter, trying to inspire her to become a beauty queen. Slowly as his “9-Step Program to be a Winner” speech ends, the shot expands, and cuts to the crowd as the lights go on. There are merely 4 students gathered in an assembly hall listening to his speech, beginning to show the audience that Olive isn’t the only one trying to be someone that she is not, and that this film is less of a comedy but more of a dark comedy. Next comes the scene introducing Dwayne Hoover. There is a close-up of Dwayne is lifting weights followed by a medium shot of the teen’s skinny pale arms lifting small weights. The boy is a skinny pale teenager with black hair, and looks like an emo. This choice in costume evokes irony; a teenage boy who looks like a skateboarder rather than a jock is trying to look like a fit athlete. Next comes the scene introducing the grandfather of the family; there is a close-up of a pair of hands locking a door and opening a fanny pack on his waist. The without knowing the age of the man doing so, he pulls out a vial of cocaine and snorts a line. As the shot expands, we come to know that this man is in his seventies, again ironic because he is acting like a young man, instead of an older man watching out for his health. The next shot introduces the mother of the family, Sheryl Hoover, who seems frantically driving a car while on the phone. The irony in this shot is not in the mise-en-scene but the dialogue. She is smoking a cigarette and talking to her husband Richard, and then says “…no I’m not smoking!”. The last shot of the introductory sequence, the most important in my opinion, is the shot including the film’s title. At this point the mise-en-scene gives away the true nature of the