Morgan Freeman's name popped up on an early Oscar list for Best Actor. Which is odd, because "Invictus" looks like a Matt Damon soccer movie. Sure enough, Damon made the same Oscar list - for Best Supporting Actor. I looked at the poster again: Freeman has his back to us, his black suit jacket used to highlight the stadium crowd cheering on his supposed supporting co-star. But dressed in vibrant green, Damon's big grin and bright eyes dominate the middle of the poster. Still confused, I read a plot synopsis (the one thing Poster Child never does). Guess what? "Invictus" is a Nelson Mandela drama, and Freeman is the star. (The movie's also about rugby, not soccer; my bad on that one.) There is something about Damon - maybe it's the hair, or the way he's smiling, but it does evoke a South African feel. So I'll give points for that. And, with both actors on that Oscar list, the movie's probably good. We know that it's got a happy ending. But the poster for an important social drama about a black world leader, starring an actor who's already won an Academy Award, should showcase that actor and not make him sit at the back of the bus.
Dec. 10, 2009