Category Archives: Awards

It’s an Honor Just to be Nominated

The nominees for this year’s Key Art Awards have been announced. You can check out the nominated posters easily in this cool gallery from IMPAwards. Also, check out monKeyArtsAwards for a list of what the judges look for in the Key Art Awards competition.

I’ll probably make a longer post about this down the line, but hopefully this will tide you over for now.

It's an Honor Just to be Nominated

The nominees for this year’s Key Art Awards have been announced. You can check out the nominated posters easily in this cool gallery from IMPAwards. Also, check out monKeyArtsAwards for a list of what the judges look for in the Key Art Awards competition.

I’ll probably make a longer post about this down the line, but hopefully this will tide you over for now.

And in a Few Hours, One of These Will Join That Big List

No Country For Old Men

No Country for Old Men Poster

No Country for Old Men Poster

No Country for Old Men Poster 2No Country for Old Men Poster 3

The main poster for No Country has Llewelyn Moss running through the plains, holding a shotgun a a case full of money. Meanwhile Chigurh looms over him ghost like. It’s pretty faithful to the core of the film, but in the transition to the poster we lose both the amazing beauty of the landscape and a lot of the tension that is present in the actual movie. The result is, I think, just an okay poster.

The character banners are nice as a part of a larger campaign. But they just aren’t very special when taken by themselves.

There Will be Blood

There Will Be Blood Poster

There Will be Blood Poster 2

There Will be Blood started it’s poster campaign with a great teaser poster. But the rest of the campaign didn’t live up to that first effort. The focus has been on Day-Lewis, which is only fair since that is also the focus of the film. But none of the posters capture the intensity of Plainview. And once again the beautiful landscapes present in the movie don’t really translate well into the poster.


Atonement Poster

Atonement Character Poster (Keira)

Atonement Character Poster (Briony)
Atonement Character Poster (James)

The posters for Atonement are all very elegant and beautiful, and the main one captures a lot of what the film is about by having the two lovers separated, with Briony standing in the middle. But are they great, memorable posters? No. Although they are beautiful, they just aren’t unique enough to by anything much more than that.


Juno Poster

Quirky, unique and fun. Just like the actual film. I especially like the way the poster turn the stripes in Juno’s shirt into a strong visual element that serves as a sort of brand for the movie.

But I do think that the posters for Little Miss Sunshine had many of the same virtues, and were in fact a little better.

Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton Poster

f they gave Oscars based on posters I think Michael Clayton would be the favorite.

Some people have criticized this poster for being too much like a book cover. Well, it does look like a book cover, a very good one, but I don’t think that is a problem. If anything it adds to the sense that this a serious, meaty movie. And beyond that this is a creative image, that manages to offer us a close up of Clooney without making the poster just another boring big head poster.

Is it a great, historic poster that could stand side by side with the best posters for best picture winners? No, but it is really good.

79 Years of Best Picture Winners in Posters

This weekend the winners of the 80th Academy Awards will be announced. Which gives me a nice excuse to post a compilation of the posters for all of the best picture winners so far.

1927-1928 – Wings
Wings Poster

1928-1929 – The Broadway Melody
The Broadway Melody Poster

1929-1930 All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front Poster

1930-1931 Cimarron
Cimarron Poster

1931-1932 Grand Hotel
Grand Hotel Poster

1932-1933 Cavalcade

Cavalcade Poster

1934 – It Happened One Night

It Happened One Night Poster

Click in the link below to see the rest of the posters.
Continue reading 79 Years of Best Picture Winners in Posters

What Were the Best Movie Posters From 2007?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

The Savages Poster

Posterwire, for example, didn’t really like this year’s selection, but ended up settling on this poster for The Savages as the best of the year. In his (her?) words:

What we do like about the Chris Ware movie poster illustration for The Savages is that it is different than most key art campaigns (mainstream, indie, or otherwise) — it evokes a real feeling and direction about the characters. The trademark Chris Ware style of detached “coldness” is (literally) on display in The Savages one-sheet.

I agree with most of this, even tough I don’t think that this is the best poster of the year. In my initial reaction to the poster I was worried that the use of an illustration would be needlessly confusing, but on hindsight this seems like a silly concern when applied to this particular combination of poster and movie. And the illustration does have an emotional resonance that tends to build with multiple sightings.

Many people thought that the poster for The Savages was among the best of the year. Including Eric Lavallee over at Ioncinema, who put it in his top 10 posters of 2007 list. Topping that list are the Grindhouse posters, which Eric collected in one entry so that they wouldn’t occupy most of the positions on the list.

Grindhouse Poster

The Grindhouse posters were as close to an unanimity as you could get, appearing is almost all best posters lists. They also topped, for example Neil Miller’s list over at FilmSchoolRejects. That list also showcases this poster for 300, at second place:

300 Poster

I was surprised that the posters for 300 didn’t make more lists. Peter Sciretta over at Slashfilm compiled a list of his favorite 20 movie posters and still couldn’t find a spot for 300. But he did manage to find a spot for another favorite of many people, the teaser for 3:10 to Yuma.

3:10 to Yuma Poster

That teaser also makes, among many others, Alex Billington’s top 10, in a very respectable number two. However that list is topped by this poster fro Transformers:

Transformers Poster

And I just can’t get behind that. I know that many fans gushed over it when it first came out, but I still don’t love this poster. And I have in fact started to dislike it a bit.

IMPAwards still hasn’t anounced the winners for their annual poster awards, but they have already released the nominees in several categories, including Best Movie Poster, Worst Movie Poster, Creepiest Poster and Funniest Poster. The 5 nominees for best poster include posters for Grindhouse, Premonition, Sweeney Todd, Zodic and this psoter for Black Snake Moan:

Black Snake Moan Poster

Which is also appears in a lot of other lists.

Finally, sometimes commenter KamikazeKamel also has his list of favorite (and least favorite) posters, which include many consensus choices but which highlights in first place the posters for American Gangster:

American Gangster Poster 1American Gangster Poster 2

Those posters got quite a bit of attention when they were first released, but most people seem to have forgotten them by now.

I won’t be doing a best list myself this year. Instead, over the next couple of weeks I will post several retrospectives focusing on the most remarkable 2007 posters in different movie genres. Stay tuned.

Official 80th Oscars Poster

Official 80th Oscars Poster

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released the official poster for this year’s Oscars, which will be the 80th in the award show’s history. The design was apparently originally conceived by the amazing Drew Struzan (you remember Drew Struzan, right?), but that design was actually turned into the final product we see now by Drew’s son, Christian Struzan, with the help of his creative team at XL Laboratories, Inc.

It’s a nice story, but the poster itself is unexceptional. The Oscar statuette and a bunch of bright lights representing, I guess, the glitz and glamor associated with the ceremony. The truth is that the Oscars have a very clear and strong brand, so they were quite constrained in terms of what they could do. And I think this is a lovely poster for that brand. But it’s not original or impressive in any shape or form.

(Via ComingSoon)

MPAA Rejects the Poster for Taxi to the Dark Side

Taxi to the Dark Side Poster

A little while ago I made a post compiling the posters for the docs short listed by the Academy. One of the few films for which I couldn’t find a poster was Taxi to the Dark Side, a documentary about the the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Well, that movie now has a poster, which you can see above, but that poster has been rejected by the MPAA.

The reason given is that showing a hooded figure in the poster depicts torture, something unacceptable in the print advertising for a movie, since children might be exposed to it. So, to recap, according to the MPAA:

The Hills Have Eyes 2 Poster

SAW 4 Poster
Don’t see nothing wrong here.

Hostel 2 Poster
Appropriate for all ages.

Taxi to the Dark Side Poster
Oh my God, hide the children.

I could go on. The truth is that the image used in the poster is not especially gruesome or horrific. In fact, it’s quite low key considering the subject matter, and the MPAA approves several posters with much stronger images every year. The thing that makes this particular poster shocking is not the image itself, but the facts behind it. And that seems to be what the MPAA is objecting to, for whatever reason: references to the U.S. torture scandal.

The MPAA claims that it has objected to the use of the hood in previous posters, even in posters for horror movies, so it’s only being consistent. But that is a transparent dodge. The only reason that the hood is as strongly associated with torture in the first place is the recent torture scandal. Once again, by opposing the depiction of the hood in these films the MPAA is not really going against any depiction of torture, but specifically opposing depictions that are connected to the torture scandal.

Adding to the controversy is the fact that the image in the poster was made from an news photo showing an actual prisoner and an U.S. soldier. But that seems neither here nor there. Obviously that are many non staged photographs that would be objectionable if put in a poster. I just don’t see any good reason why this one would be so.

The MPAA had already rejected the poster for The Road to Guantanamo last year, for similar reasons. But the image in that poster was much more disturbing by itself. Which is not to say it should have been rejected, but the rejection of the poster for Taxi to the Dark Side looks a lot more ridiculous and unexplainable.

But perhaps I’m missing something. Feel free, as always, to disagree with me in comments.