The dinner scene in the film, Little Miss Sunshine directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie
Faris cleverly foreshadows what is to come through the use of several film techniques such as cinematography and dialogue to show the purpose of the directors in this scene.
In the scene as Olive is talking to her Uncle Frank after seeing his arms
, there is a high angle shot of her as she questions her uncle about his recent suicide attempt.
The director's uses this technique to emphasize the fact that Olive is still only a child, and doesn’t fully understand what she’s talking about, and the questions she’s asking, and receiving. The directors used this shot to make the audience think about how Olive, who’s only an innocent child who is yet to know of the outside world, must feel in this scene. The technique is used well to emphasize that Olive is only a child and the way the camera looks down on her, like an adult would look down at a child, instead of a medium shot or -low angle shot like the other characters at the dinner table, showing Olive doesn’t really understand the context of the discussion. In the scene Olive’s dialogue “Why did you want to kill yourself?” shows that Olive is just an inquisitive child without a proper understanding of the intense questions she is asking her uncle Frank so soon after his attempted suicide.
When Frank explains to Olive how he fell in love with one of his grad students, the dialogue from Olive as she asks
“Him? It was a boy?” makes the audience feel awkward about the whole situation, as she is just an innocent child asking these questions which are very personal and are also about the societally sensitive topic of homosexuality.
These concepts are very new to her and she clearly doesn’t understand how these questions affect the older family members at the dinner table in the scene .
The high angled shot of Olive along with her dialogue work well together to show the ambition of the directors in this scene to show that unlike the other members of the family, she is unable to process the information she's receiving.
This event foreshadows the role she will play as a binding force