An unusual poster by Hollywood standards (though this is a foreign property with a Spanish director, Juan Antonio Bayona, and financing via Apaches Entertainment and Telecinco Cinema, with Warner Bros. only handling US distribution). Hollywood actors Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, however, anchor the production and it seems clear there are high hopes for US box office dollars.
No faces are visible, making the selling point strictly story-centric as opposed to star-oriented. These are regular people caught in terrible circumstances who struggle for survival. There is an unmistakeable emphasis on light from above, which denotes influence of fate or the divine. This element, perhaps, will resonate more with Latino audiences than it would the average American and probably won't be seen in US posters.
There is also a left-to-right motion/energy of the water and the trees (which lean to the right), which implies moving forward, (right to left would be backward), in the correct direction, in an evolutionary process -- that is, facing your destiny (or, in this case, being swept along by destiny) and clinging to what's important -- loved ones and family -- when all else has been stripped away. Thematic.
It's true, though, an earlier (Spanish) banner did show the faces of the actors. This was probably necessary in that it was the first poster and served to introduce the movie to the public. This new poster, however, indicates the PR guys are pitching a purely human story (to any and all markets [where people may face uncertain futures]).
It will be interesting to see what emphasis domestic posters will have, what the American approach will be.
- ► 2013 (568)
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