Relationships between fathers and sons are difficult enough as it is without throwing other complicating factors like divorce (or separation), distance and more into the mix. There’s a lot that can go wrong here and fathers, though they may not openly or outwardly acknowledge it, carry a lot of guilt and burden about what they are or aren’t doing to screw their kids up. There’s a lot of baggage and emotion that goes into this that’s different from the mother/daughter situation but no less affecting for everyone involved.
The Confirmation is about just that relationship. Clive Owen plays Walt, a largely-absentee father to Anthony (Jaeden Lieberher), his young son. The two haven’t spent much time together over the years but when Walt’s ex-wife Bonnie (Maria Bello) wants to go away for the weekend with her new husband Kyle (Matthew Modine), she wants Walt to take care of Anthony. There’s an already high level of awkwardness between the two that’s only raised when Walt has a rough weekend that includes being evicted, his truck breaking down and someone stealing his toolbox. So not only do the two have to navigate each other but also deal with some major life events.
The one-sheet sells what looks to be a touchy-feely, largely positive father/son drama. Owen and Lieberher are seen walking alongside each other, the older’s hand on the shoulder of the younger, who’s looking up at his dad in a very familiar way. That’s about it for setting up the story since the rest of the poster is devoted to an early review of the movie, the cast list and the title treatment along with a note of when it’s available in theaters and on iTunes.
Again, the movie that’s being sold here is one that’s upbeat and about what looks to be a very positive relationship. Everyone looks happy here, which is in sharp contrast to…
The first trailer lays out the story pretty well. We meet Anthony and see that his divorced parents aren’t exactly getting along and Walt does not like his ex-wife’s new husband. When Walt finds his toolbox has gone missing he and Anthony go out to find out where it went, putting the two in all kinds of situations that are probably inappropriate for a kid but which provide for some quality father-son bonding.
It’s a nice, gentle trailer that sells the emotions and the humanity of the characters while still showing plenty of “situations” that will move the story along. But the sense still coming through is that this is about the characters and their connections and not about wacky hijinks.
Online and Social
I couldn’t find a real website for the movie. The closest I came across is this page on the Saban Films site that has the poster, trailer and a synopsis of the story. Too bad they couldn’t put together something more substantive.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Nothing here that I’m aware of.
Media and Publicity
Nada here as well, at least outside of the couple bumps from when trailers and other material was released.
I want to like this campaign. I really do. But the tonal shift between the poster, which wants us to smile along with Clive Owen and the trailer, which wants us to glower and be frustrated with Clive Owen, is too much to overlook. It’s pretty stark and coupled with the lack of effort elsewhere I’m not sure how this could work either in theaters or on-demand.
What there is in the campaign, mostly looking at the trailer, sells a relationship drama that even if it doesn’t have anything hugely original to say does have something largely worthwhile to say. It’s unusual to see a movie about a less-than-ideal dad where that character isn’t played as a laughable loser or other kind of cliche. Owen looks like he gives a stoic performance, which seems to be in-line with the character and which will be relatable to a lot of dads.