Film Analysis – Bedtime Stories


I chose the Adam Sandler movie Bedtime Stories because it was one of my childhood favorites, and I wanted to look at it from a more analytical perspective.

Film Analysis

Film TitleBedtime Stories
DirectorAdam Shankman
CountryUnited States
If you could work on this film (change it), what would you change and why?I would change some of the jokes that were made in the film. The way the film depicted Native Americans was made to be funny, but came off as racist and insensitive.

As you view films, consider how the cuts, camera angles, shots, and movement work to create particular meanings. Think about how they establish space, privilege certain characters, suggest relationships, and emphasize themes. In addition to shot distances, angles, editing, and camera movement, note details of the narrative, setting, characters, lighting, props, costume, tone, and sound.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who is the protagonist?Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler)
2. Who is the antagonist?Kendall (Guy Pearce)
3. What is the conflict?Kendall and Skeeter fight for the position of hotel manager at the next huge Nottingham hotel.
4. What is the theme? (summarize in one or two words)Family is the most important
5. How is the story told (linear, with flashbacks, flash-forwards, at regular intervals)Learn more…Linear (starts with a flashback, jumps forward to the present, doesn’t have any other flashbacks or flash-forwards)
6. What “happens” in the plot (Brief description)?Skeeter Bronson, a hotel handyman, has his life changed when the bedtime stories he tells his young niece and nephew begin to come true.
7. How does the film influence particular reactions on the part of viewers (sound, editing,
characterization, camera movement, etc.)? Why does the film encourage such
Using characterization the audience is able to form a connection to the protagonists and dislike the antagonists. Skeeter’s gradual development also contributes towards the audience’s wish for his success. The Sound used also makes the audience feel for Skeeter. When he is with his family, the music is soft and the diegetic sounds a familiar and comforting. When the antagonists are present the music is more intense and the diegetic sound is harsher.
8. Is the setting realistic or stylized? What atmosphere does the setting suggest? Do
particular objects or settings serve symbolic functions?
The setting is realistic when we are in the real world to make it easier for the audience to become a part of the story, but the bedtime stories are stylized to make them funnier.
9. How are the characters costumed and made-up? What does their clothing or makeup reveal about their social standing, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or age? How do costume and makeup convey character?Skeeter is dressed in slightly worn clothes or his work uniform telling the audience that he doesn’t make much money, spends a large portion of his time working, and is low on the social ladder. Kendall, on the other hand, is always dressed in a tailored suit with his hair slicked back, showing that he is more affluent and has higher social standing.
10. How does the lighting design shape our perception of character, space, or mood?The lighting fits the mood of Skeeter most of the time. When he’s happy or excited it’s sunny and bright, but when he’s feeling sad the sky is cloudy and it’s raining. The only time this is not true is when the weather was changed due to one of the bedtime stories he had told the night before.
11. How do camera angles and camera movements shape our view of characters or spaces? What do you see cinematically?
12. What is the music’s purpose in the film? How does it direct our attention within the image? How does it shape our interpretation of the image? What stands out about the music?The genre of music was adjusted to fit each scenario the characters were in. For each story, the music was fitting. In space the music was electronic, and in the wild west there was country music. When there we calm and heartfelt moments, the music followed suit. It was used to enhance the emotions present in each moment.
13. How might industrial, social, and economic factors have influenced the film? Describe how this film influences or connects to a culture?In the United State a common belief is that if you work hard enough, you will be “successful”. This movie capitalizes on that idea. The lowly and hardworking handyman one-ups the rich guy who is only in it for the money.
14. Give an example of what a film critic had to say about this film.Use credible sources and cite sourcesExample: “The Shawshank Redemption Movie Review (1994) | Roger Ebert.” All
Content. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2015.
“…it may appeal to, as they say, ‘kids of all ages[…] And that’s about it. The first PG family comedy starring Adam Sandler […] Once again, the character relates to kids […] Once again, the message is that you have to believe,”

Ebert, Roger. “Bedtime Stories Movie Review & Film Summary (2008): Roger Ebert.” Bedtime Stories Movie Review & Film Summary (2008) | Roger Ebert, 23 Dec. 2008,
15. Select one scene no longer than 5 minutes that represents well the whole film and shows relevant cinematic elements. Explain why. 01:15:30 – 01:17:38 
16. In the selected scene: write a sentence for each of the elements below:
a. Screenwriting:This scene was written to be a false climax to the movie. It seems as though the main character’s arc is coming to an end.
b. Sound Design:There is an absence of non-diegetic sound until the scene has almost finished allowing the focus to be on Skeeter’s speech.
c. Camera Movements:The camera switches between characters without turning and tends to remain stationary while looking at each person, there is minimal zooming and panning.
d. Light Setup:The entire room is evenly lit, casting all characters in the same light.
e. Soundtrack:The music slowly builds as we reach the climax of this scene, becoming louder and faster as time progresses.
18. What’s the socio-cultural context of this film?Set in a wealthy part of California, not a lot of diversity.

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