Thursday, October 26, 2006

I Am Zee Best Zinger In Zee World and Other Abuses of the English Language.

Not to hate on Celine Dion or anything, but it's time to make another pointless list about a cinematic aspect that doesn't get the attention it should - accents. There have been some absolutely mesmerizing accents and some putrid verbal molestations, but we're going to cover as many candidates representing both sides as we can think of before I need to get back on Brando and pedal home in polar cap-esque weather.
Accents of Amazingness.
1. Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice and A Cry in the Dark.

Riddle: What has worse eyebrows than Peter Gallagher, worse bangs than Traci Lords in Crybaby, and says "dingo" better than an actual Aussie?

Meryl should win...for everything. I've never heard a real Polish accent, so me saying hers is amazing doesn't count for that much. It's like me pointing to a random guy on the street and saying, "What a hot Lithuanian." But no one does better accents than Meryl. Except for Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that probably doesn't count. For obvious reasons.


2. Marlon Brando in The Young Lions.

If there is anything hotter than a bottle blond Brando dressed in Gestapo gear... Devra and I saw this needlessly long, star-studded debacle a year and a half ago, and the only amazing aspect of it - besides Maximilian Schell and Monty Clift - was the dulcet Germanic tones coming out of Brando's mouth. It's almost enough to make you utter a pro-Hitler statement. Almost. Insert picture of Big Bear doing his Heil Hitler gesture because his right arm/paw has 10 times more stuffing in it than the left arm/paw, which just hangs limply to his side. So it's more like Big Bear doing a post-stroke impression of Woodrow Wilson.

3. Kate Winslet in any movie that requires an American accent.

If a transvestite grabbed me from behind, I would also pretend I was a bird.

We should all bow our heads and commiserate over the fact that this cold, cold world does not acknowledge Kate Winslet's thespian abilities with an Oscar. Not only that, but they have toyed with her, not once, not twice, but FOUR times, choosing instead to give little gold statue things to Mira Sorvino (people related to opera singers who can't stay on Law and Order for more than a year do NOT deserve awards), Kim Basinger (people who sleep with bears and then make babies and name them after countries do NOT deserve awards), Jennifer Connolly (people who only agree to make movies that require them to stand on a pier and stare pensively out over the water do NOT deserve awards) and Hilary Swank (we like, but strongly believe that Kate should have been in Best Supporting for Finding Neverland. but that was Natalie's category anyway).
We can all take solace in the fact that Kate is getting her fifth nomination this year for Little Children. Called it.

Is it just me, or is that kid dismembering a rabbit? What a beast.

4. Christian Bale in Newsies and American Psycho.

I am willing to bet that a VERY small contingent of the population is aware that Christian Bale is Welsh. Part of that is because Christian Bale keeps using different accents in every single movie, but it's mostly because he's a linguistic chameleon. And really, really hot. I'm not sure how it's connected, but if given 25 posters of a naked Christian Bale and a lot of time, I could give you an explanation. To be fair, a Newsie accent is probably one of the easiest to do, right up there with whatever Ross Perot has, but we give Mr. Bale some leniency, especially since he lost 70 or 80 pounds for The Machinist. I do not recall what sort of accent he had in that. I was too busy counting the little things on the back of his spine.

Would not have wanted to be married to Christian Bale during the filming of that movie.

Language Butchers.
1. Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins

So many people were embarrassed by this. Emma was embarrassed to be from the same country as Dick Van Dyke. The British were embarrassed that someone honestly thought that they sounded like that. Chimney sweepers everywhere bowed their heads in shame. Soot couldn't hide that assault on mankind's eardrums.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond.

Wow. This movie doesn't come out for a few more weeks, but the ads with Leo screaming to Djimon Hounsou in that Uma Thurman Oceania accent leave me legitimately wondering why they didn't just hire Charlize Theron and put a fake mustache on her. No one would know the difference, and you'd get a legit South African accent. It's not like she hasn't played a guy before.

"I got raped, give me an Oscar."

3. Harrison Ford in K-19: The Widowmaker.

"Menya zavut Harrison Ford. O menya y'ast bad Russian accent."
What was Harrison thinking? "I need money for food Calista won't eat."

"All of the food I have eaten since 1998 is to my right."

One day, a mob of anorexics, Jennifer Connolly fans and Leonardo DiCaprio fans are going to force me into a deserted parking lot and eat me. Except for the anorexics.


At 3:46 PM, Anonymous briantw said...

As a South African whose favourite film is A Cry in the Dark, all I can say is, "I feel your pain!"

Yeah, so we've got Denzel Washington in Cry Freedom, Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover in Bopha!, some clowns in Lethal Weapon 2 ("he's bleck"), Michael Caine and Sidney Poitier as FW De Klerk and Nelson Mandela, Thomas Jane in Stander, and now Leonardo Di Caprio butchering our accent.

Love to see Meryl in a movie about a South African woman. Or Charlize in a movie about a South African man.

At 5:53 AM, Blogger e.e.grimshaw said...

hmmm. you're making me reconsider the format of this post. maybe i should do an entire one on south african accents, which i admittedly think are pretty hard to pull off. there's a reason you don't see a lot of american impressions of charlize. and it's also fun to think i have a south african reader.

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Judith said...

Emma, this is your best investigation since the Magnificent 7. Making me think about movies I haven't seen for decades....


Post a Comment

<< Home