Throughout the road trip the family suffers many personal setbacks and discovers the need for each other’s support. Olive is the youngest of the Hoover family and the central character of Little Miss Sunshine. The film begins with her standing in front of the television mimicking the beauty pageant winner. When she finds out she has qualified in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant she is ecstatic but her Uncle, Brother and Father are not too keen on going. Because Olive is the centre of the family they all agree that it they will go and support but choose not to have any fun.
Richard puts a lot of pressure on Olive when they find out she’s in the final of the pageant. After listening to her dad talking about winning and losing all the time Olive is scared her dad won’t be proud of her like her Mother would be. Olive asks her Grandpa about the pageant and losing and Grandpa tells her “Losers are people who are so afraid of not winning, they don't even try”, he is not a big fan of Richards nine steps and gives his own definition of ‘Losers’.
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On the way to Florida they stop at a gas station and realize they have left Olive there so they quickly turn around but Olive is still standing there waiting and is not at all worried they have forgotten her because she is the whole reason they are going. A big moment in the movie would be when there symbolic, yellow Volkswagen breaks down and they all have to push to get it started; for once they are all working together and become happier.
Despite everything that happens with the Hoover family, the biggest change in Olive throughout the whole movie would be that she finally accepts herself for who she is and doesn’t care what people think of her. Richard is the father of Olive and stepfather of Dwayne. A45 year old motivational speaker, he wears pleated pants, a golf shirt and sneakers. Richard can’t cope with losers, and with his nine steps to success that’s all he talks about at home. You can tell by the old technology he uses that his nine steps are not very successful; at this point he is not a winner but has strong belief.
When the family finds out Olive got into the finals of little miss sunshine Richard tries to talk them out of going because he could have a big break in his nine steps. When Sheryl tells Richard Frank is staying with them he doesn’t really care and asks about Stan Grossman calling in case he liked his proposal. Frank asks about Dwayne’s vow of silence Richard of course, goes on about his nine steps and the whole family is sick of it and tries to shut him off. Sheryl is set on taking Olive to Florida but Richard is being selfish and only cares about if Stan Grossman likes his ‘nine steps’.
When Sheryl finally convinces him to go he puts a lot of pressure on Olive about winning. I think Richard changes the most in Little Miss Sunshine as at the start of the movie he only cares about himself and his nine steps but throughout the movie and when he loses his father he begins to accept his family and doesn’t care about his “big break”. At the pageant he doesn’t want Olive to go on stage because he is afraid people will make fun of her and he really starts to care. Dwayne is first seen at the start of the movie lifting weights, doing push ups and sit up.
You then see him put a big cross on his calendar, by this you can see he has set a goal but not quite sure what it is yet. When the whole family is home, you notice Dwayne doesn’t talk and writes everything on a notepad. When Frank asks him about having any friends he writes on his notepad: “I hate everyone” Frank finds it weird and asks about his family, he then rolls his eyes and underlines everyone. Dwayne can not put up with Richards nine steps and when Frank asks him about his goal Richard butts in and is making it all about him.
When Dwayne finds out he is colour blind during the trip he gets really agitated in the car and starts hitting his head against the wall, they final stop the car and he lets out a big scream. When Sheryl goes to try and make him feel better he just says he hates his family and wants to be left alone. They agree that they cant do much else except wait for him to calm down, when Olive goes down she just leans her head on his shoulder and I guess he realises he is being kind of selfish and for the first time in the whole movie you hear Dwayne speak and apoligises to the family.
While at the beauty pageant Dwayne starts to really care for Olive and tells Sheryl not to let her on the stage otherwise everyone will make fun of her but even though one judge is shocked with Olive’s dance the rest of the family don’t care and go up and join her. Dwayne changes dramatically in the movie. Going from someone who didn’t talk, was very selfish and hated everyone to now really caring for his family, talking and overall a changed person.
There are heaps of different film techniques used in Little Miss Sunshine for instance, when Dwayne tries the colour test the music goes from happy music to the music where you know something bad is going to happen and that’s when you find out Dwayne is colour blind. The opening and closing scenes are completely opposite to one another. The effect it would have on the audience would be significant, like even a dysfunctional family like the Hoovers can get through tough times, anyone can. In conclusion the movie Little Miss Sunshine was very well filmed, it had a big effect on the audience and the actors worked really well.
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