Is it just me, or does it seem weird these days to see a movie poster that excludes images of its stars? I would especially expect a movie starring Julia Roberts to capitalize on her famous face. Yet here is the new one-sheet for Dennis Lee'sFireflies in the Garden, and it is completely void of the usual celebrity portraits. It doesn't include the young, rising-star face of Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), the handsome mugs of Ioan Gruffold or Ryan Reynolds, the distinguished features of Willem Dafoe or the stunning eyes of Emily Watson or Carrie-Anne Moss. The poster does list all of these actors, though, so for attracting an audience for the film, name recognition will have to do. Apparently the designers of the poster think we'll be more interested in a movie about a large farmhouse and a giant field (not even a garden) than in a movie starring Roberts and the rest. The design is boring, familiar and seems to do nothing in terms of appealing to anyone.
The film, which keeps making me think of my favorite animated film, Grave of the Fireflies, is a semi-autobiographical family drama involving an unexpected tragedy (sounds almost like Roberts' return to weepy Steel Magnoliasterritory). I haven't been interested in that genre for a long, long time, and after the badly spoofed version in Christopher Guest's latest, For Your Consideration, I can't imagine wanting to see any sappy family drama anytime soon. Unfortunately, I tend not to avoid films in which Watson appears (though I can't believe Panettiere is playing her character, younger), and I have to admit the rest of the cast is mostly worth watching, too. So, I may actually have to rent this one someday.