all_we_hadRita (Katie Holmes, who also directed) is a mother who’s just trying to provide for her daughter Ruthie (Stefania LaVie Owen) in the new indie release All We Had. That sort of basic goal is difficult, though, since Rita can’t find steady work and the two hover at the brink of poverty pretty much consistently. After being evicted from their apartment and traveling across the country barely scrimping by, the two wind up in a small town where Rita finds work and they start to get things together.

That all simply sets the stage for them to lose even more, though. With relatively steady income and a growing group of friends and others in a support network they’re finally ready to lay down some roots. So Rita decides to buy a house using a sub-prime mortgage from a slick mortgage broker. And did I mention the story takes place around 2007? Yeah.

The Posters

Holmes is the primary – almost the sole – element on the poster. She appears there looking haggard and worn, looking off into the distance like she’s deeply pondering something of great concern. Above the title we’re told this was directed by Holmes as well and at the top of the one-sheet is a cast list and an icon denoting its appearance at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The Trailers

When the trailer opens we meet Rita and her daughter Ruthie as they’re driving around and figuring things out as they come along. They enter a diner where something has obviously happened but Ruthie convinces the owner to not turn them in but instead give them a job. Rita engages in a romance with someone and then it turns into a drama of mother/daughter conflict as Rita tries to make everything OK, needing each other even as they don’t fully understand each other.

The trailer is a little choppy – there’s a lot of drama shown without a whole lot of explanation or backstory – but still gets the point across. It’s hard to get a sense of how things play out because of the jumpy nature of the action, but the core element of the mother/daughter relationship comes through, as does the rest of the cast that helps things along.

Online and Social

There doesn’t appear to be an official website for the movie. But there were Facebook and Twitter profiles that updated people on the press activity from Holmes and others, new trailers and other materials and more.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing here.

Media and Publicity

The main focus of the press push was this New York Times feature interview with Holmes that talked about how she got herself in the director’s chair, what she was trying to say with the movie and more. That same theme was covered in other press stories as well as in personal appearances made by Holmes on some of the talk shows and in a TV tour. Luke Wilson also did a bit of press, particularly appearing on “Conan” to promote the movie and otherwise have a good time.

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Overall

It’s a cute campaign that sells an emotional story. There’s nothing hugely innovative here but it sells the movie as a strong outing by Holmes, hitting repeatedly that this is her directorial debut. That doesn’t overwhelm the story, though, which is presented here as a mother/daughter drama more than anything else. It doesn’t hint too strongly at the elements of the story that deal more with the economic downturn of the last decade, instead opting to just keep the focus on the characters and their situations throughout the campaign.

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