Friday, November 16, 2007

Worst. Accents. Evaaarrr

Did you pick up on my accent in the title? It's a little Western German with some Scottish thrown in. I starred in the Tom Jones play in high school as Mr. Fitzpatrick and my Irish accent was aces. Actually it was crap, but my ma and pa always tell me I was fantastic so I'm sticking with that.

My friend Brian sent me this link a while back featuring some of the worst accents in film. It's relevant because according to Sean Nelson at MSN, Russell Crowe's character in American Gangster has no handle on a good New York accent. I write this knowing full well that Crowe may chuck a phone at my head at any time. But I will defend myself saying that I have yet to see the movie, so feel free to comment on whether this statement is correct. I think it's interesting that an accent would ever turn out bad. Is an accent not as important as say, directing? Or editing? If you don't buy the accent, you don't buy the character and then suddenly that character is the weak link of the whole movie. Especially if the movie is based on true characters such as American Gangster. Of course it's a question of the actor, but wouldn't they have the accent down before the camera's rolled? And if they didn't have it down, why roll the cameras? Or why not get another actor? I guess I just don't get it.

Here are some other bad accents of note.

Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins

Brad Pitt in The Devil's Own

Angelina Jolie in Alexander

Gary Oldman in State Of Grace

Uma Thurman in Henry & June

Tim Robbins in Mystic River

Winona Ryder in Bram Stoker's Dracula

Forrest Whitaker in The Crying Game

Liam Neeson in Schindler's List

And the special "Hey Thar" worst accent award goes to Kevin Costner for Robin Hood:Prince Of Thieves, JFK, A Perfect World and Thirteen Days.


Sheamus the... said...

Uh...Richard Gere in freaking The Jackal...worst ever.

Sheamus the... said...

oh..and didnt even notice crowe had an accent in the my thought.

Megan said...

Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias. From the very first "Mah-muhhhh!" as she comes down the stairs.

Anonymous said...

Russell Crowe does the worst "American" accent, regardless of the region.

And I'm SO with you there on Tim Robbins and Mystic River.

Anonymous said...

What about Natalie Portman's atrocious accent in "V For Vendetta?" I could barely concentrate on the movie every time she opened her mouth.

Uh oh ... she's at it again:

brian said...

I realize this doesn't qualify, but Dustin Hoffman is melting down before our eyes.

His latest movie where he owns the toy emporium he sounds like a cross between his characters in Hook and Tootsie.

PIPER said...

I would like to take this moment to add Tom Cruise's accent in Far and Away.

Not good.

PIPER said...

Come on Brian,

That new movie with Hoffman is going to be good Ava and Will fare.

Tony Tanti said...

I don't find myself distracted by accents too often, the reality is that no two people in real life have exactly the same accent either so everyone has a very subjective view of what a good accent should sound like.

That being said, some are bad enough that they're worth noting. Liam Neeson in Schindlers List though? I had no problem with that one.

PIPER said...


I'm not an expert in accents so I'm somewhat with you that I don't spend too much time paying attention to them, unless they make me pay attention to them by being so bad. As I said before, Tom Cruise's accent is pretty damn bad in Far and Away.

And yes, I didn't notice that Liam Neeson's accent was bad in Schindler's List.

12XU said...

Leo D in Gangs of NY and I thought Lawrence Fishburn was just as bad in Mystic River. He starts w/ NO accent and then has one in the next scene (or vice versa, I forget).