movie analysing

Purpose: This Final Project, which is an Individual Movie Analysis, offers you the opportunity to look at characters and their interactions through a communication lens. Using the concepts, terms, and curriculum material covered in COM1162, you will complete a concise movie analysis.

You are required to watch one movie from the following list. For the purposes of COM1162, movies chosen from outside of this list will not be accepted.

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Supporting Canadian Films!

The Grizzlies (PG) – mature content
Watch for Free:
password: d94m6j2g
Access to this teaching resource is provided under section 30.01 of the Copyright Act and is only for use in this course. You are not permitted to keep a copy of this content after the course is complete.

Indian Horse (PG) – mature content – Free to Watch Here: Indian Horse (2017)
Across the Line (14A) – aggressive coarse language and violence – Free to Watch Here:
A Word of Caution re: content of films

Choose whichever movie from the list you prefer to work with for this Final Project, and note the rating of each of these movies. As stated in the Course Outline, in order to view a movie for the Individual Movie Analysis Project, students need to access a DVD collection, or rental through iTunes, Google Play, or YouTube may be required.

You are expected to provide concrete examples and supporting evidence from the movie to apply your understandings of course terms and concepts covered.


Movie Analysis Submission

You have the choice to submit your movie analysis in different ways:

a paper, which follows APA formatting
a slide presentation (you can include voice over, video clips, pics, etc.)
an audio/video submission
or another alternative submission (ex. a song, a blog, a rap, a visual representation with explanations) An alternate submission must be discussed and approved by the instructor ahead of time.


Regardless of the submission type you choose for this Movie Analysis (ex. a paper, slides, audio/video, or ‘other’), you must clearly organize your Movie Analysis using the headings listed below and following the prompts provided (Communication Basics, Self-concept, Perception & Expression, Listening & Relating, Relationship Analysis, and Conflict Analysis).


COMMUNICATION BASICS (choose any TWO questions = 20 marks)

1. Choose one character in the movie who could be considered a competent communicator. Give examples of that person’s behaviours that illustrate any four of the following:

A wide range of behaviours
Ability to choose the most appropriate behaviour
Skill at performing behaviours
Cognitive complexity
Commitment (caring about both the other person and the message)

2. Identify and explain one example for each of the following communication principles:

Communication can be intentional or unintentional.
Communication is irreversible.
It’s impossible not to communicate.
Communication is unrepeatable.
Communication has a content and a relational dimension.

3. Identify and explain one example for each of the following often communication misconceptions:

More communication is always better.
Meanings are in words.
Successful communication always involves shared understanding.
A single person or event causes another’s reaction.
Communication can solve all problems.

SELF-CONCEPT, PERCEPTION, AND EXPRESSION (choose any TWO questions = 20 marks)

1. What issues with identity does one of the main characters reveal in the movie? Discuss the factors that are influencing his/her/their sense of self at this time in his/her/their life.


2. Use the social penetration model (Chapter 8) to analyze the self-disclosure between two main characters. What benefits of self-disclosure are evident? What are the risks each one is taking in their disclosure? Give specific examples.


3. What emotions does a different character reveal throughout the movie? How does he/she/they reveal them and to whom? What emotions do you think this person feels but does not reveal? What factors contribute to this person’s ways of expressing and managing emotion?


4. Nonverbal communication through clothing, physical appearance, and physical environment are all focused on by various characters in the story. Explain how each one is a factor in a character’s relationships with others.


5. Give details of when two of the following fallacies were accepted by a character (or by two different people) in the movie and discuss how this thinking affected the person’s emotions:


fallacy of perfection
fallacy of approval
fallacy of shoulds
fallacy of overgeneralization
fallacy of causation
fallacy of helplessness
fallacy of catastrophic expectations

LISTENING AND RELATING (choose any TWO questions = 10 marks)

Effective and ineffective listening behaviours.

Who in the movie demonstrates effective listening? Illustrate by identifying the specific listening behaviours/strategies used by that person in one or more situations.

Identify two examples of ineffective listening and identify the specific problem you see. What is the outcome of the behaviour?

Give an example of a lie or deceitful action in the movie. Do any of the following reasons explain the reasons for the deception? Explain. If not, what reasons for it can you offer?
to save face
to guide social interaction
to expand or reduce relationships
to gain power
to avoid tension or conflict

4. The movie includes numerous scenes in which one person directly criticizes, or offers feedback to, another person; not everyone who is criticized responds in the same way. Find one example of a defensive response and one example of a non-defensive response. For each situation describe by whom and how the criticism is expressed (verbally and nonverbally), plus how the receiver responds (verbally and nonverbally). Analyze the type of defensive/non-defensive strategy being used and the outcome. (Hint: Review the terms in Chapter 9 to help you with this.)



Analyze the relationship between two of the main characters. Here are some questions to get you started. Feel free to use any theories and concepts from the course to shape your analysis and to develop the topics in whatever order makes sense to you.
Analyze the development of the relationship. What brings them together? What strengthens their relationship and causes it to grow? What threatens it? Do any of the stages of relational development apply?
How do perceptions affect the relationship? For example, do these two main characters have accurate perceptions of one another? Do they have shared perceptions of others? How might their perceptions or attributions be distorted?
How do the messages they give one another affect their relationship’s development?
Analyze the distribution of power/control evident in the relationship. Is it a complementary, symmetrical, or parallel relationship? Explain why you see it this way.
What threatens their relationship? Analyze one of the character’s relational transgression and repair.
What are the factors that maintain the relationship(s)? For example, what needs are being satisfied by their relationship that make it worthwhile? Why do you think their relationship grows and continues?
CONFLICT ANALYSIS (Short essay = 20 marks)

Choose another relationship depicted in the movie, one in which there is some type of conflict.
Describe the relationship and any relevant background on it.
Describe the conflict. What it is about? What leads to the conflict? Does it escalate or does it diminish? How/why?
What conflict styles do the individuals use (non-assertive/passive behaviour, direct aggression, passive aggression, indirect communication, assertion)? Is it destructive? Do these characters deal with the conflict in a constructive manner?
Do they resolve their conflict? If so, how? If not, why not? And with what consequences . . . for the individuals themselves? For their relationship? For other people?

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