Friday, October 11, 2013

This is ... interesting

In today's print Washington Post is a story called "Based on a true story: For Hollywood and the audience, it's increasingly just the facts, please, when it comes to dramas".

The second and third paragraphs read:
This week, Tom Hanks will take viewers on a white-knuckled journey through a harrowing maritime abduction in “Captain Phillips,” based on the 2009 encounter of real-life merchant mariner Richard Phillips with Somali pirates. Next week, audiences will watch the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch channel enigmatic WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in “The Fifth Estate,” and Chiwetel Ejiofor deliver a searing portrayal of Solomon Northup in the historical drama “12 Years a Slave.”

Those are just a few of the fact-based films that have arrived and will continue to crowd into theaters during the next few months, a field that will ultimately include “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Rush,” “Parkland,” “Blue Caprice,” “The Dallas Buyers Club,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and “Saving Mr. Banks.”
What's interesting isn't the list. It's the photos accompanying the story.
There are three, large and in color. The top one is Tom Hanks coming out of a ship's cabin. The middle one is Benedict Cumberbatch on a street. And the third, below the fold, is a bunch of white guys in in a doorway from “Parkland”.

Hanks? Check. Cumberbatch? Check. Ejiofor? Uh. Where's Ejiofor?Chiwetel Ejiofor in '12 Years a Slave'

Why did the Post's layout guy(s) decide not to feature all three of the big names that are most prominently mentioned? Why go with an unnamed ensemble shot from "Parkland"?

I wish I didn't think I knew the answer. Though I don't think it was a deliberate, conscious choice, I do think it was one.

PS: (The online version has a different title (‘Captain Phillips’ and Hollywood’s — and audiences’ — embrace of fact-based dramas, reflecting the article's more in-depth look at that one movie, and no photos.)

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