Oh What A Beautiful Shot: Little Miss Sunshine

I'm a sucker for good cinematography. Any of my friends or family can tell you that many times during the viewing of a film with great cinematography I will likely utter the words "Oh what a beautiful shot." I feel that one of the film's greatest advantages is its ability to tell a story in a visual medium, so I usually tend to gravitate towards films that are beautiful to look at.

Recently I watched the film Little Miss Sunshine again. This film definitely gets better for me with every viewing. The first time I saw it I think I was expecting it to be a lot different than it was, so I didn't really know what to do with it. But the more I watch it, the more I like it. It has got a lot to say, but also a lot to show. I tell you what, if I were teaching an intro film class to new students, this would definitely be one of the films I would make them watch to illustrate the power of good cinematography. In the film, it is the cinematography that is what enables the audience to feel like they're on the same trip with a bunch of characters who they probably could never have related with in the first place. I say if you're gonna do a road trip movie you might as well let the audience enjoy the scenery so they feel like they're there too. Wow...that was pretty diagnostic for a blog post...blame all the freaking papers I've been having to write for school. They are taking over my life! One final thought: this film has a terrific cast. Seriously. They all just give outstanding performances. That is all.

Good to Know: One time I was driving down to Provo on a beautiful sunny day, admiring the scenery and listening to Sufjan Stevens' Chicago (A song featured in Little Miss Sunshine) as a yellow VW bus passed me. It was one of the greatest moments of my life, haha. This movie has a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is currently ranked #226 on IMDB's top 250. It was nominated for 4 Oscars and won 2. (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress- Abigail Breslin. Won for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor - Alan Arkin who upset then frontrunner, Eddie Murphy for Dream Girls. Haha Norbit being released around the time of the Oscars certainly did him in. I haven't seen Dream Girls, but Alan Arkin's part was pretty small to have won the award (not that he didn't do a great job) so Eddie Murphy really must have screwed up big to have missed that one. But no nomination for cinematography!?

Quotes: Dwayne: [on notepad] Welcome to hell.
: Thanks, Dwayne. Coming from you that means a lot.

Grandpa: Losers are people who are so afraid of not winning, they don't even try

Dwayne: I wish I could just sleep until I was eighteen and skip all this crap-high school and everything-just skip it.
Frank: Do you know who Marcel Proust is?
Dwayne: He's the guy you teach.
Frank: Yeah. French writer. Total loser. Never had a real job. Unrequited love affairs. Gay. Spent 20 years writing a book almost no one reads. But he's also probably the greatest writer since Shakespeare. Anyway, he uh... he gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, Those were the best years of his life, 'cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know total waste. Didn't learn a thing. So, if you sleep until you're 18... Ah, think of the suffering you're gonna miss. I mean high school? High school-those are your prime suffering years. You don't get better suffering than that.

I'll do my concluding thoughts on the Back to the Future trilogy soon, I just wanted to break up all the Back to the Future posts so it doesn't look like my blog is exclusively devoted to BTTF :)

ETA: This picture is purely for Anna's enjoyment.


Joey said...

This is one of those movies where the end nails it and justifies watching the whole movie. What I mean is that a lot of the movie is really uncomfortable and you suffer along with these people.

Then the ending teaches you so much about this family (which I won't give away because I am not a spoiler) that all the suffering is worth it.

Sort of like your last quote!

Anna said...

Well. I agree with basically everything you've said here, although I would propose that Paul Dano's pelvic thrusting is arguably the best part of the movie. In my humble opinion.

Sarah said...

You chose some great pictures to illustrate the fantastic cinematography in this movie.

When you watch this movie, you definitely do feel that you are on the trip with them--for the good and the bad.

Oh, and I caught the middle of Dream Girls on TV the other day...meh. Maybe I would have to see the whole thing to appreciate it. I only saw Eddie Murphy in it for a very small portion and I didn't think it was Oscar worthy. But that's just me!

Emily said...
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