In Contention


‘The King’s Speech’ poster

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 4:57 pm · November 2nd, 2010

Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” has had an air of “prestige” around it ever since a plot synopsis hit the net.  So no mistake that the official one-sheet for the film adopts that kind of high gloss approach, but, well, it’s a bit vanilla if you ask me.  Check out the full image, courtesy of Cinematical, after the jump.




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34 responses so far

  • 1 11-02-2010 at 5:06 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Ugh, these half-assed Photoshop jobs kill me. Why are the three principals all looking at completely different things?

    And that tagline is ill-conceived: she wasn’t the Queen, for starters.

  • 2 11-02-2010 at 5:07 pm

    caro said...

    awful photoshop

    this year is a sh*tty year for nice movie posters

  • 3 11-02-2010 at 5:13 pm

    Georgia said...

    Actually, that caption is quite clever. It changes it from the story of 2 men working together to positioning her smack dab in the middle. Since she’s the only one people actually remember and who has her own mythos (such as Hitler calling her “the most dangerous woman in Europe”) it broadens the potential viewership.

    It also positions HBC better for awards attention, and if all 3 of them get a nomination, then maybe you’ve got a snowball effect.

  • 4 11-02-2010 at 5:14 pm

    Danny King said...

    “It’s a bit vanilla if you ask me.”

    I’m guessing that’s you being a bit lenient, Kris.

  • 5 11-02-2010 at 5:16 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Check.

  • 6 11-02-2010 at 5:22 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I also see the poster as a “let’s make the tagline and position of HBC be the focal point so as to roll her into the buzz with the other 2 men” statement. Not a dumb angle, by any means. I just wish the poster itself was more flashy.

  • 7 11-02-2010 at 5:40 pm

    Jim T said...

    Guy – Are you implying that to assume God exists is not a technicality-related error?

    And if He does exist, isn’t it blasphemy to say that there is something he can’t do? Again, technically speaking.

    ;)

    But seriously, the poster seems to be fitting for what Tim Robey and Guy described the movie as. (correct? death of the english language?)

    I have little hope for the movie after those two dismissals because they made the movie seem like what the trailer made me think it is.

  • 8 11-02-2010 at 5:40 pm

    Graysmith said...

    I like the typography for the most part and the gilded framing, but like others have said, the headshots are just terrible, even by floating head standards (which is pretty low). Such a shame.

  • 9 11-02-2010 at 7:36 pm

    Glenn said...

    Well… er… umm… at least the names line up with the faces?

  • 10 11-02-2010 at 8:06 pm

    Room 237 said...

    This movie should lose the Oscar just because of this one-sheet.

  • 11 11-02-2010 at 8:18 pm

    Jake G. said...

    Ugly cover

  • 12 11-02-2010 at 9:03 pm

    Raffi said...

    IT looks like the inevitably bad dvd cover. Maybe they sent out the wrong poster. =P

  • 13 11-02-2010 at 9:14 pm

    Derek 8-Track said...

    They should feel embarrassed.

  • 14 11-02-2010 at 9:31 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Last year there was a lot of bitching for A Single Man’s one sheet – which look like a print ad for a fashion campaign.

  • 15 11-02-2010 at 10:02 pm

    daveylow said...

    I wish people would stop making assumptions about the film if they haven’t seen it. It’s a very good film, and made a much better film by the cast.

  • 16 11-02-2010 at 10:17 pm

    Everett said...

    They seem very comfortable with the reputation as traditional awards bait. Trying to lure the academy to go back to its roots?

  • 17 11-02-2010 at 10:59 pm

    The InSneider said...

    Why do I get the feeling that tomorrow TWC will say that was an unfinished one-sheet that wasn’t OK’d for release… here’s the NEW one-sheet that is slightly better. But really, we have no idea how to sell this movie, let alone come up with a campaign that will win it Best Picture…

  • 18 11-02-2010 at 11:59 pm

    Brian said...

    If ever there was a poster that could lose a film Best Picture…

  • 19 11-03-2010 at 1:42 am

    Anna said...

    This looks like something that would be on the cover of a 25 cent paperback novel.

  • 20 11-03-2010 at 5:31 am

    Bill_the_Bear said...

    Why are they trying to make Geoffrey Rush look like a nine-year old kid?

  • 21 11-03-2010 at 5:45 am

    Hunter Tremayne said...

    The interesting thing about this poster is that it is in fact the second poster. The first had Firth, Rush and a microphone. Harvey Weinstein has obviously and late in the day added Helena Bonham-Carter due to her Oscar buzz, and so this poster is a bit of a rush job.

  • 22 11-03-2010 at 6:29 am

    Ella said...

    Well, they need to fix it. And the reference to God not being able to do something won’t go down well in certain parts of the country, trust. Does Harvey–or his minions–read here? The people have, um, spoken.

  • 23 11-03-2010 at 7:13 am

    Maxim said...

    Ella, give me a break. The kinds of people you are describing won’t be bribed to see this film anyway. They probably wouldn’t know it existed.

    And I am amazed to see that so many people attribute Helena Bonham-Carter’s presence on the poster purely due to her (long standing) Oscar buzz. I think it is equally probable that the reason she’s on the poster is to make the otherwise very dry looking film look a litle tastier. And you know, more commercial.

    And as for the poster itself, I like it because it reminds me of the golden days of Miramax. It’s very 90s in that way. I know I’ve seen a variation on this design before, down to those clouds, frames and facial expressions. At the moment I have a hard time identifying the movie(s) this design was used for but it may come to me later.

    Gotta dig that eager boyish look on Firth’s face though. If I didn’t know he way playing a king I’d have thought he was an overgrown schoolboy a in a british boarding school. And he’s got that stiff upper lip down pat. Clearly, the man is a great actor wheres BHM just got the same look she has when looking on Mr. Burton and Geoffrery Rush is just his usual well groomed follow-the-fly-off-screen I-have-a-banana somewhere-on-my-body self.

    Still, the movie lost me when it comlemented Hitler right in the trailer. The savant king chose a questionable role model, I think. I guess Chirchull was unavailable. Two minutes with him or Chuck Norris would have Firth dropping proverbial nuclear vessells in no time. The movie would have been short but, oh, what difference for the war effort.

  • 24 11-03-2010 at 7:44 am

    Ella said...

    Maxim, I’d think the studio would want to cast a wider net and if that includes Christian conservatives, I mean, why the hell not?

  • 25 11-03-2010 at 8:11 am

    Maxim said...

    There are two parts to my answer. First of all, I believe that this tagline is just as likely to attract a certain type of movie goers as it is to repell others. There is a certain wit (and even zang to it) that renders it inoffensive, as long as you a person of a particular type of mindset. Even if I didn’t know anything about the film, I would have known that it’s not trying to be anti-religious in that way. I believe that there are many who would as well. And while it may be a bit of stretch I believe that it is exactly the type of arthouse audience, who are used to see the they are going for.

    The second thing is that, while I can agree that there are people out there who would be offended by the tagline (I mean, how many times has something like that happened to you?), I’d like to think that you’d have to be not just a Christian but a pretty hardcore and dense one to change your mind about seeing it That’s an important distinction as one would have to have wanted to see the film otherwise, in order to be counted among those who were turned away by the quote. And I simply don’t see to many of those types lining up to see what is likely to be a relatively limited release film about a foreign king. Maybe I’m wrong.

  • 26 11-03-2010 at 8:13 am

    Maxim said...

    I appologize for the typos and missing words above. I’ve pasted text from two different forms and didn’t come out as well as I thought. Hope it’s not too confusing.

  • 27 11-03-2010 at 8:45 am

    Duncan Houst said...

    I think people are going a little too far in saying that this poster could lose the film Best Picture. I hate the poster too, but only because I’ve seen the film and know that it’s an absolute masterpiece. This only feeds in to the delusions of the naysayers that want to believe the film is terrible. I’m not impressed, but I stand by the film, not the marketing.

  • 28 11-03-2010 at 9:05 am

    RJNeb2 said...

    Sasha over at Awards Daily has already put up another version of this which is WAY better although still a little too subject to the dreaded photoshop.

    http://bit.ly/coaVST

  • 29 11-03-2010 at 12:19 pm

    Rodney Hollis said...

    Maxim, as a Christian who, in modesty perhaps, does not consider himself “dense” and would not ascribe the word “hardcore” to describe his level of devotion, I completely disagree with you. Ella’s position is a valid one. To take a film about a foreign king with a speech impediment and market it in America with that tagline will alienate Christians like myself who consider themselves cultured and open to arthouse films in spite of their penchant for atheism. We can overlook the artist’s religious views and evaluate the work on its merit but when a studio goes to the extreme of contorting the “God save the king” phrase into a blasphemous play-on-words, one has every reason to believe that studio is making an offensive, and worse, unnecessary statement that presumably (having not seen the film) has nothing to do with the plot of the picture.

    With such a little market for this picture, it was pretty stupid of TWC to approve this onesheet; especially considering that this is exactly the type of film Christians would like to see (excepting the barrage of f-bombs I heard about in one particular scene). I for one will probably still see it because I’m an admirer of HBC’s work and was rooting for her in previous strong performances in Sweeney Todd and Fight Club, though Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush don’t hurt. But I am disappointed because I honestly did cringe when I read the tagline.

  • 30 11-03-2010 at 12:47 pm

    Maxim said...

    Rodney, here is what I honestly don’t understand. How can a man who invoked “God save the king” (and, thus, apparently understands what the marketers played off of) still be alienated by that tagline? Yes, the literal meaning of the phrase may seem less then worshepful but does the actual intention not mean anything to you at all? It is only the literal meaning that is so, and in like any pun (which this can be sort of considered to be) it is the other meaning that has all the meaning.

    So if you do understand that this not really written with the intent to upset people of faith, then why do you cringe? Well, I know why because you called it blasphemous. I am in a state of disbelief. Not because of my inolerance towards your feelings. This is not that at all. I understand how you feel. But because of the ease at which your thor around words like “blasphemous” (this time in a purely straight context) and the hyporacy of how this word is used. Someone cannot just be an atheist. He or she is necassarily has to be a blasphemous.

    Moreover if you consider an invocation of the word in such a context to be blasphemous, you and I may have a differing opinion on what consitutes hardcore. (Please don’t take that as an offense. It is not intentional and I can tell you are not a bad guy.) People who would stay away from a fillm due to the presence of the f-word, never went to see Fight Club. They are not the arthouse audience. as most Art House films are “R” rated. TWC is not loosing much with their witty tagline.

    And why are we talking strictly in terms of Christianity here? The word “God” is as universal as it gets, it’s non-denominational. if you will, and I assure you that the thing that made you cringe is just as likely to offend others. The fact, that it is a British film makes no difference. As you have said, the context is irrelevant. It’s the implication that matters.

  • 31 11-03-2010 at 1:25 pm

    Manny said...

    You know, no matter if it’s a thousand years, or a billion…

    The word God will always inspire the rapture in all of us.

    I am never, ever surprised when I see buckets of paragraphs being written to justify one’s opinions in the face of another’s…

    Something I wish didn’t seem to only happen when God is mentioned.

    I for one think the tagline’s just plain stupid and trite, and in the end…why not do Him honor and not spend time defending His name, when we all know, should He be wandering the halls of Heaven…he need not need our help to do so.

    Just my two cents is all. Long time reader, first time poster (I think). That sort of thing.

    P.S. YouTube, in particular, is hilarious. A video showcasing, let’s say, The Passion of the Christ’s score set to some scenes will feature countless pages of nothing but God-bashing and simple-minded hypocrisy and warrior-ing. Go figure…this is what we spend our Amendment right on.

  • 32 11-03-2010 at 1:31 pm

    Everett said...

    You guys do realize that the tagline is supposed to be a witty reference to the British National Anthem, right? There’s nothing religious about it.

  • 33 11-03-2010 at 2:09 pm

    Rodney Hollis said...

    Maxim, it would seem that your words betray your true motivation in censuring Ella’s original post: you are a person whose views on, to paraphrase, “the people who won’t be bribed to see this movie” are, for lack of a better word, ignorant. You are obviously not a Christian and have a very narrow viewpoint concerning them, or better “us.” Your “confusion” on why a Christian would view the tagline’s pun as offensive, seconds this notion.

    And as for your interpretation of what constitutes “blasphemy,” first of all I did not invoke the word first. It was Jim T, who you never responded to. As Jim T so elegantly stated, to suggest that “God” can’t do something is inherently blasphemous. Merriam-Webster defines “blaspheme” thusly: to speak of or address with irreverence, which the quote so obviously does. So it seems that Christianity is not the only thing you lack knowledge about. I’m sorry. I’m getting a little nasty. But I think it’s because I marvel at the audacity of your generalizations being presented as if they were facts. But perhaps I misjudge you, maybe you have been privy to data the marketing department at TWC reviewed before concluding the tagline would not cost them attendance, or at least would have a negligible impact.

    To your first point, my acknowledgement of the tagline’s pun does not in any way exclude me from being alienated by it. If that were the case, no one could ever be offended by any pun based on his or her racial/political/religious beliefs. Precisely, one cannot be offended by any statement unless one comprehends it. Your notion that said comprehension demonstrates the tagline was “not really written with the intent to upset people of faith,” is extraordinary. I don’t quite know how to respond to this, as I have no idea what the intentions of the author(s) is. What I do know is any reasonably intelligent person would agree that the tagline’s language is controversial, as demonstrated in these talkbacks.

    I never stated that people offended by the f-bomb would not see the movie, nor did I state they would see Fight Club. I am a Christian, I saw Fight Club and I could care less about expletives used in movies because I use them everyday (God forgive me ;). I only admitted that some Christians shy away from films with foul language, especially considering the film’s foreign ratings board cited said language as the reason for a stern rating that surprised many.

    To answer your question about why we’re talking about Christianity strictly, that’s an easy one: (1) because I am a Christian and unlike you I like talking about things I’m actually knowledgeable about, and (2) the phrase “God save the king” is referring to the Judeo-Christian God, historically speaking. I concede your point that many individuals use “God” loosely but to stay on point, we are talking about the Christian God since that is the “God” the original intonations of the phrase “God save the king” refers to.

  • 34 11-03-2010 at 5:58 pm

    thebizkey said...

    What a terrible poster! It should be only of Colin Firth about to speak into the microphone and looking desperate. And all this PhotoShopping is ruining the art of the film poster. If it were my call, I’d do the image as an illustration. Imagine what Richard Amsel could have done with it if he were still alive!