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Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy



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  #21  
Old March 21st, 2008, 8:47 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

Speaking of Southern Accents, when I lived down there I never realized I had picked it up because I was born in Kansas, and we were watching home videos the other day, we no longer live in Texas and back in Kansas, and it was funny. Now we are doing a play with Southern Accents and we all really, suck. It's a good thing it is a melo-drama or else we would have no audiance, .


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  #22  
Old March 24th, 2008, 1:06 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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I think Leo did a to die for accent in Titanic and he did really good in Blood Diamond.
Leo's character in Titanic was American so he didn't have to try too hard on that. But I do agree on Blood Diamond - I've a few friends who are South African and they even said his accent was great.

As for cringeworthy - one springs to mind being Irish as well - Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman in far & away. Please, please, please get rid of any perceptions that Irish people speak that way - we don't!!! and if someone tried to it would be beaten out of them with sticks before they could get too strong an accent okay...well maybe not with the sticks!!!


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  #23  
Old March 24th, 2008, 4:04 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by mariebeth83 View Post
Leo's character in Titanic was American so he didn't have to try too hard on that. But I do agree on Blood Diamond - I've a few friends who are South African and they even said his accent was great.
He played a Zimbabwean, an accent subtly different to South African; which is really neither here nor there because he kept slipping out of accent or goes over the top.


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  #24  
Old March 24th, 2008, 5:56 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Leo's character in Titanic was American so he didn't have to try too hard on that. But I do agree on Blood Diamond - I've a few friends who are South African and they even said his accent was great.

As for cringeworthy - one springs to mind being Irish as well - Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman in far & away. Please, please, please get rid of any perceptions that Irish people speak that way - we don't!!! and if someone tried to it would be beaten out of them with sticks before they could get too strong an accent okay...well maybe not with the sticks!!!
Really, I some how thought that he was British in that movie, knowing he was American, . I guess Kate sort of just did the whole thing for me and everyone sounded Brit, .


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Old March 24th, 2008, 7:12 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

Fake American accents always amuse me. In Farscape (yes, I know it's not a movie) it's always fun to listen to the American accents from the Australian actors. They have varying degrees of success, but they all slip out occasionally.

What do the Scottish think of Scotty's accent in Star Trek (hey, there were movies)? It doesn't sound very good to me, but I'm no expert.

Also on the Scottish vein, I like listening to traces of David Tennant's natural Scottish accent when he does English accents in Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Casanova. (i'm sure he's done other things, but that's what I've seen him in.)


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  #26  
Old March 24th, 2008, 8:26 pm
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by ginnypotter19 View Post
Really, I some how thought that he was British in that movie, knowing he was American, . I guess Kate sort of just did the whole thing for me and everyone sounded Brit, .
of any British actor/actress...I love Kate's accent best!

@Wab: I knew he played a Zimbabwean (or as he said in the movie he was from Rhodesia - what Zimbabwe used to be called) but my South African friends commented on his accent based on them being from a similar area and having personal experience of hearing the accent regularly in real life.


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  #27  
Old March 25th, 2008, 4:36 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

I'm American .

I think Johnny Depp does really good accents in all of his films...anyone else?

As far as people who do good American accents, I think Minnie Driver does a great job. I never knew she was British until I looked her up on Wikipedia! I had only seen her in Return to Me and Ella Enchanted, and she did an American accent in both of them, so I couldn't even tell!

I also think Freddie Highmore does an pretty good job with an American accent in Spiderwick and August Rush .


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  #28  
Old March 25th, 2008, 3:30 pm
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

James McAvoy is Scottish but i loved his British accent in Atonement & Becoming Jane.
I didn't like his American accent in Penelope though, it just wasn't right for him...


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  #29  
Old March 26th, 2008, 3:44 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

James McAvoy! *though I thought it was McAvory*. About Minnie Driver, she does Phantom of the Opera, which I think she does a Spanish accent in that one. Freddie, I thought he sounded British in Spiderwick too, so I don't think the American accent in that was so well, but in August Rush he was good! Johnny Depp is just plain talented!


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  #30  
Old March 26th, 2008, 5:14 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by ginnypotter19 View Post
About Minnie Driver, she does Phantom of the Opera, which I think she does a Spanish accent in that one.
I know. It cracks me up every time I watch it: "Why you always spray on my chin?"

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Originally Posted by ginnypotter19 View Post
Freddie, I thought he sounded British in Spiderwick too, so I don't think the American accent in that was so well, but in August Rush he was good!
Yeah, he slips up sometimes; there were times in Spiderwick when it was really obvious that he was British, but other than that he did good. I mean, he hasn't had as much experience as these other actors; he's still a kid. So I think he did good.

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Johnny Depp is just plain talented!
Amen.


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  #31  
Old March 26th, 2008, 9:12 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

I'm South African and every attempt at a South African accent that I've heard didn't pull it off (it was quite comical, actually). I can't really name specific examples, but there was an American in Stander who tried and sounded horrible but, in all fairness, they had the poor man do a South Afican accent but with the Afrikaans accent added to it, so he had to do Afrikaans-accented South African english. Only South African Afrikaaners can pull that off. Then, I know for certain Nicole Kidman and Leonardo Di Caprio (in Blood Diamond) tried, but neither managed (though Di Caprio did get a favourable response in reviews).

The problem is, I believe, that we have no real accent. Nothing is really emphasised; so no rolled r's, no twangs, tings, slurs or anything. The accent is best described as 'flat.'


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  #32  
Old March 26th, 2008, 9:21 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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The accent is best described as 'flat.'
Flet surely


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  #33  
Old April 1st, 2008, 5:40 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Flet surely


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  #34  
Old October 2nd, 2009, 10:44 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

I'm British.

It's hard to think of good British accents by foreign actors, as I don't tend to notice them - it's far easier to notice when they get it wrong. I agree that Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones was great, though.

In many cases, I'd rather people spoke in their own accents and I could just suspend my disbelief. Sometimes, even when an actor gets the accent right, it's obvious that they're putting so much effort into the accent that they're not concentrating enough on other aspects of the acting.

One accent thing that always makes me laugh is Viggo Mortensen in Lord of the Rings. Being a Danish speaker, he goes out of the way to pronounce the Norse placenames etc correctly, as they would be pronounced by a Scandinavian, but it sounds really obtrusive, because nobody else in the film is pronouncing them like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginnypotter19 View Post
I think Dick van Dike did a pretty good job at being Brittish, though not being Brittish. He wasn't supposed to sound propper and all of that stuff like normal, anyway. I liked it because it fit the character
He wasn't supposed to sound posh, he was supposed to sound Cockney, but his accent was still dreadful - he didn't sound authentically Cockney at all. It's legendary in Britain as the worst movie accent of all time.

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I'm Canadian but the ting that always irks me is that in historical Greco-Roman era films, the actors almost always have a British accent!
It's funny, but it annoys me when English-language films are set in historical eras/non-English-speaking countries and everyone talks with an American accent! The thing is, it's impossible to speak with no accent at all, but most of us think of our own accent as "normal", "neutral" or "accentless" and everyone else as having an obtrusive accent.


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  #35  
Old October 2nd, 2009, 9:37 pm
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

I generally detest fake accents in movies.

It makes more sense to simply cast an actor with the required accent.

Good - Kate Winslet in any movie where she uses an American accent.

Bad - Any American actor trying to do a British accent.

Cringeworthy - Harrison Ford in "K-19: The Widowmaker"


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  #36  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 5:22 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
One accent thing that always makes me laugh is Viggo Mortensen in Lord of the Rings. Being a Danish speaker, he goes out of the way to pronounce the Norse placenames etc correctly, as they would be pronounced by a Scandinavian, but it sounds really obtrusive, because nobody else in the film is pronouncing them like that.
I noticed this, of course, but it didn't bother me. I always thought if it as Aragorn showing pride/love for his heritage. The places he names are ones that are significant to men. I just thought it was a way of showing that he is still connected to that world and still respects it even though he's seemingly left it for good.


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  #37  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 9:58 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Bad - Any American actor trying to do a British accent.
I think Robert Downey Jr does an ok job in Chaplin and Brad Pitt in Snatch. But for the most part you are probably right.

Australian and New Zealand actors in particular do a great job with accents. Noah Taylor can blend into any background.

I think one of the worst I encountered was Kevin Spacey in Ordinary Decent Criminal. The worst Irish accent of all time - topping even Julia Roberts in Michael Collins.


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  #38  
Old October 7th, 2009, 11:48 pm
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

Kevin Costner's accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was memorably bad...when he actually remembered that he was meant to be doing an accent.

Not many people can pull off a successful Australian accent either.


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  #39  
Old October 8th, 2009, 4:17 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

Christian Bale has a wonderful American accent. And of course Hugh Laurie.


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  #40  
Old October 8th, 2009, 4:17 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

I caught a few scenes of From Hell last night on IFC. I was so transfixed by Heather Graham's atrocious accent that I just couldn't look away. It was kind of like a train wreck.


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