21 Grams / B1 / Japan


21 Grams
Year of Film
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Benicio Del Toro, Danny Huston, Clea DuVall, Eddie Marsan, Melissa Leo
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Crime | Drama | Thriller
Type of Poster
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
Size (inches)
28 14/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS

Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams is the second film in his so-called ‘Trilogy of Death’, following on from his breakout debut hit Amores Perros (2000), with Babel completing the trilogy in 2005. Like the first film, 21 Grams features three main characters and plot lines that interweave around a fatal car accident and its consequences. Sean Penn plays Paul Rivers, a mathematics professor who is close to death from heart failure after years of smoking and abusing his body, and his wife Mary (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is desperate to conceive a child before he dies. Benicio Del Toro plays Jack Jordan, a reformed criminal who has spent many years in jail and is now trying to go straight by helping out at church and counselling kids who are on a similar path that he took. Naomi Watts plays Cristina Peck, a former drug addict who has settled down into suburban life with husband Michael (Danny Hustonand two daughters.

One fateful day, Jack accidentally hits Michael and the kids with his car, putting Michael into a coma and killing the daughters instantly. A grief-stricken Cristina returns to her drug-taking past but not before agreeing to have her husband’s organs donated. Jack is given Michael’s heart and eventually decides to track down the donor with the aid of a private detective. The rest of the film deals with the encounters between the characters. The title refers to the early 20th-century research of an American doctor called Duncan MacDougall who attempted to prove the existence of the human soul by recording a small loss of weight immediately after death. His methods detected varying amounts but 21 grams, or three quarters of an ounce, was the first recorded instance. The original marketing campaign compared this weight to a ‘stack of nickels’, a chocolate bar and a hummingbird and this explains why the creature appears on this poster.

The film was very well critically received and was a success with worldwide audiences, although today it’s IMDb rating doesn’t quite match that of the first film in the trilogy. This poster design is unique to the Japanese marketing campaign.

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