Christine Gledhill and Richard Dyer’s Star Theories
George Clooney is your big star that has been used to sell this film. He is known for his outspoken attitude to human rights cases (he is married to a VERY famous human rights lawyer) – here’s one example from 2015 (when this film was released). This film was viewed as an issues-related movie (particularly global warming) and here’s an article about how it handled that message.
The Imitation Game
Two factors here: Benedict Cumberbatch and Alan Turing.
Alan Turing’s life has made him a controversial figure in the history of computing and in gay rights. Here’s an article about him and how he is perceived. Here’s an article about how scientists make difficult leading characters.
There is a lot of press about Benedict Cumberbatch as a sex symbol and he is called ‘the internet’s boyfriend’. He was voted the ‘Sexiest Man’ by The Sun readers for two years in a row, and he is very much associated with portraying slightly eccentric characters. He also has a reputation for representing gay rights.
The way that Boyhood was filmed means that the main star of this film (in terms of selling it) is actually the director, Richard Linklater. Here’s an article that describes his directorial style. Here’s a REALLY good article that was released at the time of Boyhood, so it can be considered part of the marketing.