Just earlier this week I discussed movies that come out of nowhere at this time of the year with misplaced hopes and dreams of Oscar. So, for this week's look at the For Your Consideration campaigns I thought I would take another trip towards this territory. Ads for these movies generally focus on specialty categories - your Best Animation Feature and acting categories mostly - because they know they're not getting anywhere near Best Picture.
One film that got my attention was The Yellow Handkerchief, which stars William Hurt and Maria Bello - a History of Violence reunion of sorts - that I had literally never heard of before. Not in festival lineups or anything, a rare thing indeed. I actually quite like the ads, resembling National Geographic magazine covers and featuring really nice images. I may never actually see The Yellow Handkerchief, but these FYC ads captured my attention. What happened to Maria Bello's career though? Time for a new agent one must think.
Some obscure animated films, too, have had ads released on their behalf. The Australian/Israeli stop-motion title $9.99 continues it's bright and colourful marketing campaign. The images being used to advertise this little movie - based on the short stories of Etgar Keret - are smart because they make it stand out from the pack of CGI titles that bombard the animation department every year. There have only ever been two claymation films submitted to the Academy and both ended up with Oscar nominations (quick, name them!) I don't necessarily expect the same for $9.99, but it's nice to imagine. Oscar winner Adam Elliot's clay feature Mary & Max is due in 2009 too, which is bound to be a major player in the Best Animated Feature category.
Another animated title is something by the name of Dragon Hunters - "With the voice of Forest Whitaker", apparently. Unfortunately the images used for this French/German co-production make it look like a Spyro the Dragon rip-off with cheap slave labor CGI and overt quirkiness. Clearly I am not - nor, I would imagine, anybody in the Academy - the target audience for this children's tale, and I suppose they're at least giving their film a fighting chance, even if they haven't got a hope. Although for all I know, Dragon Hunters is another Tekkonkinkreet, a film I saw merely because it was on last year's shortlist and ended up being quite excellent. Go figure!
What is there to say other than this is simply stunning and gorgeous. I haven't seen the film - obviously, we mere mortals haven't been deigned worthy enough until we've gorged ourselves with turkey and ham - but this image destills everything that the film is apparently all about. The tenderness and the visual forwardness in one elegant beautiful image.