This poster for In the Valley of Elah is well made but mostly very typical. The characters, standing against a suggestive background. But there are a couple of things that I found interesting.
The first is the absence of Susan Sarandon, which is a little curious because the other two top billed actors appear in the poster. This could be because her character isn’t as important as the two depicted, or maybe it just didn’t fit right in the image. It’s also possible that they didn’t think she wouldn’t do much to sell the movie and preferred to focus on the other two instead of cluttering the poster more. I wonder which one was the real reason.
The second thing I found interesting was the use of the American flag in the background.
The flag is often used in action films, as an easy way to get people excited or riled up. It’s a powerful symbol which commands an emotional reaction.
But I’m guessing that is not why they used the flag here, although I’m not sure what the real reason was. It could be as simple as a remembrance that the movie involves characters which are part of the army. Or it could be an indication that the movie deals with the theme of patriotism and what it means or that it tries to make some statement about America today. Haven’t seen the film, so I don’t know if any of these would fit.
In the Valley of Elah will be screened during the Toronto Film Festival and it will be released for the rest of us September 21.