What is here, though, is alright. The trailer is, as I stated above, a bit tonally choppy but overall it tells the audience this is a feminist story about taking back your name and not being shamed or bullied over something that happened years ago, all of which is good. It’s obviously Winslet’s show and she looks like she’s having some fun digging into a character that has a lot going on underneath the surface. It still seems, though, like it never really figures out what kind of movie it’s selling and that could hurt it with audiences.
It’s a slight campaign, as many such releases are, but it sells the movie very well. That’s particularly true of the trailer, which is the main element of the push. There you’ll see a movie that’s heavy on heart and soul-searching and grasping for identity from all of the characters we’ll be following in the story. It’s in at least one of the posters as well, which is good since that seems to be the main hook of the story.
It’s a very on-brand campaign, and that’s a good thing. In fact it might be the most consistently on-brand movie campaign of the summer, including Suicide Squad. Everything here is brown and yellow and looks like it’s been transported hundreds of miles across harsh landscapes in a leather bag, meaning there’s a worn and rough feel to the most all the print elements of the push. Combine that with how there’s dust flying in almost every shot of the trailers and the characters all look rough and ready for action and you can certainly see that while the action may be amped up, Fuqua and his team were going for a lived-in look for the movie.
What is on display are the actors. I can’t think of another campaign in recent memory that seems to be so focused on the actors involved, even other indie dramas. Both Nyong’o and Oyelowo are well represented here, as is newcomer Nalwanga. The marketing not only wants to sell us an inspiring true story but it wants to do so by highlighting the performances of the actors involved, most of whom have racked up critical accolades and box-office success. They’re positioned as the main reason to see the movie, which makes a lot of sense.