Monday, December 08, 2008


In the new movie Valkyrie, Tom Cruise plays a German guy with an American accent.

Officially I have no objection to this. He'll be speaking English so it makes no sense for him to fake a German accent when in reality he'd always be speaking German so to the people in the story it wouldn't sound like he had an accent.

Have you ever seen Seven Years in Tibet? Brad Pitt's accent is horrible. If he'd spoken with an American accent the movie would have been a lot better, except that David Thewlis had a good German accent and if he didn't use his accent he would have been British so either way Brad Pitt's accent would have been wrong. Maybe they should have just gotten somebody who could do an accent.

On the other hand, you have Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. Now I know people like to hate on Costner but I liked Robin Hood, and after the first few minutes you don't really notice his accent anymore, although that may be because he was in the Middle East and there were several different accents going on. Or maybe they should have cast someone who could do the accent.

Not long ago I watched The Ron Clark Story, a TV movie starring Matthew Perry as Ron Clark, this dude who wrote these books about teaching, books somebody gives me like every Christmas because he's sooooo awesome. Okay he's kinda awesome but still, give it a rest. Anyway, Ron Clark is from North Carolina but Matthew Perry is from New York. He didn't even attempt that accent. At first it bugged me, but then I got over it. I still wonder, though, could they have found someone who could do the accent?

Then you have that thing where we're used to hearing all European accents as British accents. Everybody in Rome was actually British. Come to think of it, every movie I've ever seen that takes place in Italy was actually starring British people. I blame Shakespeare.

So it's just weird, I guess, to hear that overly American Tom Cruise accent in a movie about Germans. It's befuddling a lot of people from the trailers, I know that. People are confused as to why an American is trying to kill Hitler.

I dunno. I guess I'll see it. But I'll do it with a British accent.


  1. Anonymous7:46 PM

    Actually, one of my pet peeves is World War II movies where the Germans speak English (to each other) with a German accent and the Italians speak English (to each other) with an Italian accent, and the Brits and Americans play the good guys, and they just gloss over the fact that there's no language barrier in the movie.

    By contrast, I actually liked Passion of the Christ, and one of the biggest reasons is because they spoke Hebrew and Aramaic instead of English. There's just an air of authenticity that it adds.

    If people are speaking different languages, show the language barrier. If they're not, who cares what the accent is.

  2. I liked Costner, too. I was able to suspend disbelief just fine without some mangled accent.

    If someone can act and do so convincingly, accents really don't matter. He's not German, he's not playing a German who knows English, and the whole German accent thing has become cliche for WW2 movies, has been since Hogan's Heroes.

    And I only indirectly blame Shakespeare for all those "European" movies with actors speaking the Queen's English. I blame the British film industry - compared to the rest of Europe, I'd guess they're on the high end of the prolific scale in filmmaking. And where would British drama be without the Bard?

  3. I believe Matthew Perry is actually Canadian, not from New York ... He was a junior tennis star in Canada ...

  4. Actually we're both wrong. According to IMDB he was born in Massachusetts but raised in Ottowa. He must live in New York or something because I looked it up when that movie came out and for some reason I got New York out of it.

    Either way, he ain't a Southerner.

  5. Accents only bother me when the movie sucks. If it is a good movie, I tend to forgive the accents. Robin Hood didn't suck, so Costner didn't bother me.

    However, I don't watch WWII movies, so I won't be seeing Valkyrie. That, and I don't want to associate Nazis with x-mas.

  6. If T. Cruise isn't going to do an accent, shouldn't everyone ELSE not do an accent too?

    Like...someone should have made a decision about that.


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