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



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  #41  
Old October 8th, 2009, 6:41 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I haven't seen that episode, but I'd say that Southern USA accents are pretty easy to get wrong as they are quite distinctive and sometimes people reckon they can do one just by throwing in a few "Y'alls" and "Howdys" that no-one really uses.
Oh, but we do use "ya'll." All the time. The trick is to know when to use it and to whom it's referring. When I'm with my family and friends, you can hear me say "ya'll and even the plural possessive of it quite frequently - "ya'll'ses."

I honestly hate when people get the southern accent wrong - which they normally do by adding too much emphases and talking too slowly. Some movies are just excellent, though. I though Sally Field in Steel Magnolias did a pretty nice job of passing a southern accent for someone from California.


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  #42  
Old October 8th, 2009, 8:59 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by snapegirl View Post
To me, is seems most English actors can do a better American accent than Americans can do an English one.
Yes, I've noticed this too. I'm not British, but it seems American actors are terrible at doing that accent, when I compare that to actual Brits I've heard. Now on the other hand, there are actually quite a few British actors/actresses that I had no idea they were British til I heard them speak in interviews or such. Christian Bale is one that comes to mind. I had no idea until I heard him in a Dark Knight interview!

So yeah, I guess that would be a sign of pulling off a good accent. Honestly though, I can't say I pay much attention to accents unless they really stand out to me. It doesn't typically bother me. And I can't recall any others off the top of my head except one that recently sounded quite odd to me- Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond, but then I have no idea what that accent should really sound like so...

EDIT:

I also remembered Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain struck me as being really good, even though he was quite hard to understand.

Well, maybe not good (I'm not from that part of the U.S. so I don't know if it was accurate perse) but consistent at least.

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Originally Posted by Hysteria View Post
I think the problem with Australian accents is they're so easy to exaggerate. I've never met anybody who speaks like Crocodile Dundee and I've lived in Australia for almost my whole life.
What about Steve Irwin? It's been a while since I saw the Crocodile Dundee films, but I seem to remember they both sound about the same.


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  #43  
Old October 8th, 2009, 9:16 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Yes, I've noticed this too. I'm not British, but it seems American actors are terrible at doing that accent, when I compare that to actual Brits I've heard. Now on the other hand, there are actually quite a few British actors/actresses that I had no idea they were British til I heard them speak in interviews or such. Christian Bale is one that comes to mind. I had no idea until I heard him in a Dark Knight interview!
That's very much to do with the global domination of US media in the Anglophone world. Britons (and others) are routinely exposed to American accents and therefore have a familiarity with the sounds and cadences. Americans generally have extremely limited exposure to Britons speaking in their own accents and so tend to struggle.

Same with Australian accents (a similar imbalance also explains why Brits do such an abyssmal job).


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  #44  
Old October 8th, 2009, 10:19 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

I'd like to mention Stanislav Ianevski's horrible fake accent in Goblet Of Fire. That sounded nothing like a Bulgarian speaking in English, even though he is Bulgarian.


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  #45  
Old October 8th, 2009, 10:29 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I'd like to mention Stanislav Ianevski's horrible fake accent in Goblet Of Fire. That sounded nothing like a Bulgarian speaking in English, even though he is Bulgarian.
Funny, I don't actually remember him speaking any dialogue


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  #46  
Old October 8th, 2009, 11:17 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

American actors who have pulled off a good English accent

- Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones -- best of them all, IMO. She even looks English, with that rather chubby face and pink complexion.
- Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love and Emma (she tends to annoy me, too mannered for my tastes, but I have to concede that she gets the accent right)
- Anne Hathaway in Becoming Jane
- Elijah Wood in LotR
- Brad Dourif, as Grima Wormtongue, in LotR
- The wonderful Frances McDormand, in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
- Drew Barrymore in Ever After

I'm sure that Glenn Close and Meryl Streep have both done English accents somewhere in their long careers. Whatever, they're both awesome.

Julianne Moore, surprisingly, fails to get it right in Children of Men. I really, really like her work but her accent was rather wobbly in that film.

Australian actors who can do a good English accent
- The lovely Cate Blanchett mainly as Galadriel and Elizabeth 1st
- And Miranda Otto, in LotR
- And David Wenham and John Noble in LotR
- Hugh Jackman in The Prestige

British actors who can do a good American accent
- Hugh Laurie, in House
- Damian Lewis, as Major Richard Winters, in Band of Brothers ... OK, that's a mini-series, not a film, but his accent is so impressive (at least to my British ears) I had to mention it.
- And I thought I spotted Julia Ormond the other night, in CSI: New York.


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  #47  
Old October 8th, 2009, 11:30 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by lcbaseball22 View Post
Funny, I don't actually remember him speaking any dialogue
He had two lines: "What are you doing here? This place is for champions. And friends." And I can't remember the other one.


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  #48  
Old October 8th, 2009, 11:36 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
British actors who can do a good American accent
- Hugh Laurie, in House
- Damian Lewis, as Major Richard Winters, in Band of Brothers ... OK, that's a mini-series, not a film, but his accent is so impressive (at least to my British ears) I had to mention it.
- And I thought I spotted Julia Ormond the other night, in CSI: New York.
You forgot Christian Bale I've lost a lost of respect for him since his little tirade, but as an American I'm def impressed with his ability

As I said before, until recently I actually thought he WAS American! I was so shocked when I heard him speaking British in interviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
He had two lines: "What are you doing here? This place is for champions. And friends." And I can't remember the other one.
Oh And come to think of it, I think he muttered a curse or two as well...


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  #49  
Old October 8th, 2009, 11:49 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I'd like to mention Stanislav Ianevski's horrible fake accent in Goblet Of Fire. That sounded nothing like a Bulgarian speaking in English, even though he is Bulgarian.
I think it was one of those occasions where the part demanded a pantomime version of what most British and American people imagine a Bulgarian accent sounds like, not a real Bulgarian accent. IMO, the writing was to blame, not Ianevski.

Pearl _ Took - I'd forgotten about Elijah Wood but, you're right - for a long time after LOTR, I thought he was British.


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  #50  
Old October 8th, 2009, 12:41 pm
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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
I think it was one of those occasions where the part demanded a pantomime version of what most British and American people imagine a Bulgarian accent sounds like, not a real Bulgarian accent. IMO, the writing was to blame, not Ianevski.
I agree - it was the same with Clemence Poesy and 'er "seely frensh akson"


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  #51  
Old October 8th, 2009, 2:58 pm
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by lcbaseball22 View Post
You forgot Christian Bale
Speaking of which, his southern accent is flawless in Public Enemies. I'm used to exagerrated, over the top southern accents in movies, it blew my mind how well he portrayed Melvin Purvis. As someone who grew up in South Carolina almost all of my life, he did the accent with grace.

Also, if you want to see other great movies with him playing an american, 3:10 To Yuma, Rescue Dawn, and though it's not particularly a movie where he does an incredible specific accent, his performance in American Psycho remains his best (though I have yet to see The Machinist). Actually, I take that back on the accent bit with AP, the voice he puts on is rather chilling.


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  #52  
Old October 9th, 2009, 1:12 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

As I'm Devon born, Somerset raised and of Cornish descent, it's a pet peeve of mine that English West Country accents (a) very rarely appear in films (b) when they do, they're usually done spectacularly badly. John Thaw in Goodnight, Mr Tom is a particularly atrocious example.


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  #53  
Old October 10th, 2009, 9:05 pm
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Originally Posted by Sheree View Post
Oh, but we do use "ya'll." All the time. The trick is to know when to use it and to whom it's referring. When I'm with my family and friends, you can hear me say "ya'll and even the plural possessive of it quite frequently - "ya'll'ses."

I honestly hate when people get the southern accent wrong - which they normally do by adding too much emphases and talking too slowly.
The toughest thing about accents is that they are extremely regional. As an example, there isn't a Southern accent. I have lived in Texas and South Carolina, and the accents are very different. Even within Texas the accents were different. Some people do speak really slowly. And say y'all a lot (though I've always heard y'all's, not y'all'ses.) And I imagine other accents are the same.


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  #54  
Old October 22nd, 2009, 11:58 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

In NCIS, the person who played Malachi Ben-Gidon in the episode Good Cop Bad Cop, the actor T. J. Ramini goes between the accent he's trying to do and a natural british accent, I couldn't decide whether it was just in character or not!


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  #55  
Old October 22nd, 2009, 10:37 pm
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

1. What country are you from?

USA. People tell me I have a slight New York accent.

2. Can you name some examples of what you consider to be good or dire attempts at your accent in films?

Well, I dunno about New York specifically, but I have seen some BBC/A & E shows where an actor or actress will attempt an American accent. I think the worst might have been in an episode of Poirot. I can't remember which one specifically. I just remember that it sounded really fake.

Also, does it count if the accent was intentionally bad? John Oliver on the Daily Show has done some intentionally bad American accents for humor. Other examples are the voice of Mario in the Nintendo games, and Chico Marx, which are both comically bad Italian accents.

I've heard that there are certain actors/actresses which have a special talent at accents. Meryl Streep is one, and so is Hugh Laurie.


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  #56  
Old October 23rd, 2009, 2:49 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

Although Streep made a terrible hash of an Australian accent in Evil Angels.


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  #57  
Old October 23rd, 2009, 7:02 pm
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

I am from the United States - Pacific Northwest to be exact

I agree with many, Christian Bale seems to be good at any accent he does. I spend lots of time on IMDb.com, and I've read that he's never done his natural accent in a film. I believe he's Welsh.
Johnny Depp always gets it right
Hugh Laurie does a totally convincing American accent (House obviously, and also Stuart Little). I love when he appears at award shows and such, because his natural british accent sounds so nice.
Kate Winslet is also good at her American accent, Titanic for example.
Hugh Jackman seems good at any accent he does too.

I thought James McAvoy was British after seeing Chronicles of Narnia. I didn't learn he was Scottish until I got a book about the movie; in the book, the director (or producer, I forget who) also thought that James was British because of his audition tape. To his surprise, when he met James, he had a Scottish accent. So I think he does good at the British, but I was confused about his accent in Becoming Jane. Wasn't he supposed to be Irish? He sounded British to me.

As for an accent that makes me cringe, Matt Damon's British accent in The Brother's Grimm.
Also, Kevin Costner and friends had really annoying accents in 13 Days (I think that's what it's called - it's about the Cuban Missle Crisis) They have these horrible Kennedy/Boston accents that were hard to listen to.

I, for one, really like Dick van Dike in Mary Poppins He's my favorite character in that movie, and just hearing him talk makes me smile. I don't mind if it's a horribly over the top cockney, I think it's right for the character.


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  #58  
Old October 25th, 2009, 9:52 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Although Streep made a terrible hash of an Australian accent in Evil Angels.
I can't think of any film where the Australian accent has been done justice.

Daniel Radcliffe was better than I thought he would be in December Boys. A little.


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  #59  
Old October 25th, 2009, 10:20 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Kate Winslet is also good at her American accent, Titanic for example.
Was her heroine American? I thought Rose was British. Not sure anymore, it's been a long time.


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Old October 25th, 2009, 10:28 am
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Re: Accents in Films: The Good, the Bad and the Cringeworthy

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Was her heroine American? I thought Rose was British. Not sure anymore, it's been a long time.
Rose is an American, yes.


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