Little miss sunshine (Trailer here) is a such a great example of a low budget film that delivered more in the way of heart, sympathy and laughter than any high budget blockbuster could ever dream of. The film was shot on a budget of $8million and grossed just over $100million worldwide, with a schedule lasting only 30 days. There’s plenty of great elements to the film with regards to casting, writing and directing, but I’d like to shine a light on the musical element of this great ensemble.
First time directors, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, approached the band DeVotchKa to score the film, after hearing their song ‘You Love Me’ on a local LA radio station. The band’s music was so popular with the directors that they purchased iPods loaded with DeVotchKa albums for the cast to listen to. The main theme for the film called ‘The Winner Is…” was nominated for a Grammy Award, but not an Oscar as the song was adapted from an earlier track on their album, cruelly disqualifying them from the category for Best Original Song. A fate which Johnny Greenwood knows all too well for ‘There Will Be Blood’. Sufjan Stevens, The Flaming Lips and Rick James also make an appearance on the soundtrack.
DeVotchKa’s music is heavily influenced by their days playing as a backing band for burlesque shows, supporting the likes of Dita von Teese, hence the genre label of gypsy punk and indie folk, not to mention the interesting array of instruments they play, accordion, theremin and bouzoiki to name just a few.