Michael Arndt is a famous American scriptwriter. He is known for his handwriting Little Miss Sunshine, for which he got manifold awards including the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Arndt wrote the first sketch of Little Miss Sunshine only in a couple of days (Arndt 2007).
Little Miss Sunshine is the narrative of the Hoovers family who face various snags on a road trip to distant California, where a small girl Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) wants to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine rivalry. The topic of winning and losing, and the capability to identify and handle both is palpable in Little Miss Sunshine.
The main thing that you can reckon on to get you through the pressure, different efforts and ache of life’s circumstances is your family.
Every one of us has his/her favorite scenes from movies. My favorite one is when the son flees from the van. A sequence of five-minute long actions makes that instant really unforgettable and fascinating. After having studied the sequence's content on DVD, I found that all of the components that give the film its peculiarity can be found in the excited and gripping concentrate of what the DVD menu directs to as scene 16, "End of a Dream." I cannot speak about such a special scene without mentioning urgent plot points, and I want to note the specifics without spoiling the pleasure.
The younger son, Dwayne, has dreamed about being a test pilot. This touching dream ends. He really wants it so much that he even promises to keep silence, absorbed by his foolish interpreting of Nietzsche. When watching the movie I knew that he was just about to blab out something, so his calmness is an interesting set-up in a film. The film contains a lot of interesting and funny moments, such as Olive's fulfillment which is present during the entire road trip. That show was rewarded by special attention.
Scene 16 begins with the shocking death of the grandfather, which is like a respite, followed by the merriment of the chance contact with a cop. He never pays attention to the grandfather’s body in the back of the van. Keeping complaining inside the car, Olive passes the miles by providing her brother with an eye test. The screen becomes dark when she is giving him a color-blindness test. It happens very suddenly and it appears that Dwayne is color-blind. The green letter "A" inside the circle of red dots cannot be seen. Then his uncle Frank explains that, unfortunately, he cannot be a test pilot. At the beginning Dwayne is indifferent about this, but then the darkness bursts into tremendous horror as the boy goes frantic. He beats on the seats and windows and when the van makes a stop, he runs away from it, and ultimately breaks his quietness with a tearing cry.
A sense of genuine tragedy and trembling horror captured the space for a couple of minutes. There is absolute silence without any word. Olive hugs Dwayne, puts her head on his shoulder and sits with him in absolute silence. It is a pleasant resolution of an awful situation. Until this moment Dwayne has been solely a funny character. The color-blindness makes him suffer, he is confused and disappointed. This is a sad scene but the little sister Olive stands out from it being the film's bright life energy. The members of his family have not done anything to help him cope with his anger; in order to do so they should have put their interest aside and looked for the solution to their child’s problem. Even though the movie takes Dwayne seriously at the beginning, we do not know what the scriptwriter Michael Arndt and the directors, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton have in stock for him until scene 16.
Out of the 23 scenes on the DVD scene 16 is one of the most vivid examples of thickness mixed with lucidity and simplicity mixed with intricacy. This film gives a radiant gleam of hope for the future, which is a traditional thing in the history of media. While supercilious celebrities try to win the recognition of the audience by any means, Little Miss Sunshine radiates magnanimity and positive emotions and enjoys the runaway feeling and the beautiful and cheerful firefly nature of life.
Having read the book Little Miss Sunshine and watched the film I wondered whether this movie was completely based on the book or not. In my opinion, the screenwriter took the main idea of the book and created his own story by adding many details and changing the characters of the actors. Nature scenery and soundtracks play a very important role emphasizing the mood of the film.
Little Miss Sunshine appears to be a bright production thanks to the talented and gifted characters, brilliant direction and lustrous performance of one of the finest bands of the year 2006. This movie is different from other works of the kind because of the small things. There are a lot of family road trip films, but thankfully scriptwriter Arndt added a lot of minor particulars to the conversations, particulars that had they been straight and clearly addressed in the beginning, they would have taken away the smart dinner-table scenery. I think that this is the main difference between the book and film. By adding little details Arndt brought certain novelty to the story, which makes the viewers interpret the screen picture in a different way. As it appears, even the details that might seem insignificant play a big role in perception of the screen picture.
For example, we get to know over the course of the movie that Cheryl was divorced, and that Dwayne's father is not Richard. For a good portion of the film this is unknown, but it contributes to the character dynamics throughout; that is really smart writing. The direction of Dayton and Faris is also great, playing off the dynamics visually and guiding the performances excellently. Dayton and Faris still have not released a follow-up; hopefully that will happen soon. They all have brought a great story to life, the one where every character's suffering and redemption feels earned rather than forced. And of course, the highlight of the film is the pageant itself, featuring a wildly inappropriate dance number that is weird, yet perfectly fits the Hoovers.
In my opinion, the book Little Miss Sunshine as well as the film bear an important and interesting meaning. They show how the funny little girl is able to brighten the family’s colorless workaday life without any mysterious wisdom. She also knows how to use the power of eloquent silence. Being just a small kid, she sees what her brother is going through. The way she consolates her brother is the first thing to heal him. Saving the silence! It is a good and edifying example for the other members of the family. It is neither a drama with comedy nor a comedy with drama, but a story that shows its characters' behavior - where their emotions lead them is where the arrangements go.
I even cannot say whether it is better to read the book or watch the movie. Watching a film gives one the ability to see and hear all the particulars, but imagining them while reading the book one can make the pictures in their head and therefore it enhances one’s imagination.