Went to a screening of

Johnnycantdecide
Featured Actor
joined:6/1/11
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/3/12 at 12:59pm
My Oh My, have you seen the film?
Johnnycantdecide
Featured Actor
joined:6/1/11
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/3/12 at 12:59pm
My Oh My, have you seen the film?
theaternut
Broadway Star
joined:8/4/03
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/3/12 at 01:02pm
Reduced.. Condensed... LORD PEOPLE! I actually DID see the film. Nips and tucks. But all that pretty much happened is they placed "On My Own" before the 1st act finale ( One day more).
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 09:07am
Quibbles I've had, dating back to C&W star Gary Morris taking over (successfully) on B'way for Jean Val Jean: I'm jarred by this obsessive use of high-falutin' British accents, the "Fahhhnteen" pronunciation lands with arch and affected precision, especially with an American actress.

"Yes it's true there's a child and the child is my daawwwtuh..." I'm slightly taken out of the moment, realizing that Hathaway is not only singing live, but singing live as a Brit, whilst playing a French woman.

"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Gary Shandling
Updated On: 12/4/12 at 09:07 AM
SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 10:29am
^ Eh...I only find it slightly jarring...and a little hysterical that costume epic = Brit-speak. It's certainly less awful than that Tom Cruise Nazi-paloza film.

But let's talk Gary Morris. Wasn't he just MAGNIFICENT? He was the first Valjean I encountered, and I was stunned by the how high-flying his vocals were. And they sounded more effortless than Wilkinson.
Miranda3
Featured Actor
joined:8/20/11
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 11:24am
Jacqui Dankworth, Cleo Laine's daughter, also a singer, is in the film in a small role. Someone on the board posted earlier that she is listed in the cast as a "Crone". Maybe she is one of the whores. Did anyone who has seen a screening notice her?
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 11:40am
The choice of accent for Hathaway and Seyfried in Les Mis is easily legitimized by the logical effort to harmonize an international cast into one national dialectical system (with variations of class and character, of course).

Similarly, the choice of England's for the national dialectical system is easily legitimized by the fact that England is an English-speaking country and the musical is, after all, in English.

Doubtless, no one would have preferred Jackman and Crowe to play it Australian, Hathaway and Seyfried American, Barks Manx, Redmayne Etonian, Baron Cohen Hammersmithian, and Helena - to put too fine a Shavian point on it - of posh Mayfair origins with Miramaxian and Belair influences and that sublime continental grace bequeathed her from her Spanish half-Sephardic diplomat grandfather.

Of course not. Although it certainly would have been preferable to them all affecting French accents.

Of course, Auggie, it is a different - though related - question when the -a- is jarringly overdone.







Updated On: 12/4/12 at 11:40 AM
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 11:57am
Why would it be preferable for them to have french accents? Simply because it takes place in France? Then why not just have everyone speak french?
The main reason everyone in this film has a British accent is because it is a British film and uses a primarily British cast. Because of this we get the British accent and British and the dialects which signify various social standings. If this were an American made film, this would perhaps be different.
The other reason for the British accent is that, in film, the accent tends to stand in for a European accent in general. That isn't always appropriate, but it happens a lot.
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 12:41pm
I'm very clear that it stands it for "European," (French would be laughable) and that the British production was the first and thus the standard for pronunciation. It's just more jarring to me on the screen. With two ingenues American, forced to sound "European," we do notice it. I am quibbling; I'm sure I'll get over it several minutes in.

For what it's worth, I saw the original production, about 3 weeks in, at the Barbicon yet, and before it was this big beloved show, it was actually perceived to be almost intimate. Yes, we had the barricades. But the show felt like the story was in our laps in the original house.

But Gary Morris was wonderful. I'd seen him the BOHEME with Rondstadt at the Public (his alternate was the late great David Carroll), and he was a legitimate heartthrob in that. Everyone expected that to move, but the critics were snippy, and Rondstadt had a helluva time (my friend in the show said she complained that it "hurt" to sing; heaven knows what it would've done if she went on for many months), though she sang half of the 8 (Patti Cohenhour was her alternate.)

"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Gary Shandling
Updated On: 12/4/12 at 12:41 PM
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 12:51pm
Jimmy, perhaps you are not talking to me, but I wasn't suggesting that it would be preferable if they all affected French accents. I was saying the diametrical opposite; that just about anything would be preferable to that.

Auggie, I actually had a similar issue with Thurman and Danes performing in British accents as Fantine and Cosette, until I realized that they were doing so to harmonize their accents with Neeson, Rush and the rest of the cast, as Jimmy suggests. Still, that doesn't change the fact that it is somewhat odd to watch American actors sounding British for this reason alone when they are not playing British characters.

International casts in works like these are tricky.

Case in point: some find the film version of The Lion in Winter, in which the characters are both English and French, and the actors English and, in one instance, American, very odd because the English actors speak with English accents, Hopkins perhaps sounds more Welsh than he has ever done on screen, even Merrow and Dalton, playing French royals, sound English, and - unlike in Les Mis - Hepburn's dialect is her own even though she is playing Eleanor of Aquitaine; she made no effort to harmonize it with the rest of the cast. Then again, this is a play in which most of the principles are from one country and three are from another. The movie is in English, more than half the characters are English; it is set in France at a time when not only the French royal family but also the English royal family spoke French, most of them probably with somewhat altered 12th Century Norman accents.... and no one really knows what that would sound like anyway. I doubt there has ever been a production of Lion, with the exceptions of those done in France, where anyone has played any role with a French accent.

Updated On: 12/4/12 at 12:51 PM
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:01pm
I'd like to hear Hamlet and A Little Night Music with Scandanavian accents.

How about Romeo and Juliet with Italian accents?
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:11pm
Twelfth Night with Illyrian accents might be fun.
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:17pm
Sunday In The Park With George with French accents; A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum with authentic 200BC Italian accents. Fiddler On The Roof with Russian accents.
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:20pm
Only the Russian characters in Fiddler would have Russian accents, the Jews would have Yiddish accents.

Actually, many of the Jewish characters in Fiddler are typically played with Yiddish accents (whether the production is in English, Spanish, Hebrew or Japanese - I doubt Fiddler has ever actually been done in Yiddish), so perhaps it's not the best example.

Updated On: 12/4/12 at 01:20 PM
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:28pm
Is a German/Yiddish accent the same as a Russian/Yiddish accent?

Updated On: 12/4/12 at 01:28 PM
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:35pm
Yiddish accents varied as did colloquial expressions used by Yiddish speakers in the diaspora. But a Russian Yiddish accent was far closer to a German Yiddish accent than to a Russian Russian accent; not to mention that Fiddler likely takes place not in Russia Proper but in some other part of the Empire - Ukraine? Belarus? - where even the Gentiles may not have generally spoke Russian. Most Jews in the shtetl, like my grandmother, spoke little if any Russian (or, for that matter, Ukrainian, etc.). In contrast, at the time Fiddler is set, the great majority of German Jews primarily spoke German (and many did not speak Yiddish at all), and quite often with accents indistinguishable from the population at large.









Pale
Updated On: 12/4/12 at 01:35 PM
madbrian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/06
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:46pm
Ich bin ein Anatevkan!
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 02:06pm
henrikegerman, I must have misread your post.
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 02:34pm
No worries, Jimmy, Perhaps when you read my "Although it [describing everyone using their own accent] certainly would have been preferable to them all affecting French accents," you mistook my "to" for a "for".

Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 04:06pm
Nice to know henrik's shtetl roots (that bely his Swedish wanna-be avatar...)

Back to Les Miz, having seen a screening, I've gotta say the pseudo-French accent Sacha Baron Cohen employs when speaking (though not while singing) is really an atrocious choice. God knows what possessed him and Hooper to accept such an accent when not another character onscreen goes there. Maybe it was an inheritance from his role in Hugo the year before...

Speaking of SBC and shtetl roots, was anyone else horrified to hear the mangled Hebrew that he employed in BORAT whenever he was supposed to be speaking Kazakhstani? Oh horrors...
jpbran
Broadway Legend
joined:3/8/06
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 04:50pm
Sounds like when Travolta was the only cast member in "Hairspray" to attempt a Baltimore accent... and a BROAD one at that.
SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 05:55pm
It drives me nuts how only Marguerite has a French accent in The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
The8re phan
Broadway Star
joined:6/20/03
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 06:21pm
question for those who have seen it-----

how was the music and orchestrations? Similar 'oomph' as the stage musical, or changed/softened/toned down to accomodate the 'non-tradional' singing style?
Disclaimer - my screen name here does not imply any fondness to ALW's "The Phantom of the Opera", and in no way endorses or supports any production of said musical
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 07:05pm
I did not feel cheated on the "oomph" .

One thing I might add. I am very happy I got to see this in a fantastic movie theater. It matters.

HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
Updated On: 12/4/12 at 07:05 PM
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 07:36pm
Someoneinatree, I could be part Swedish and still have Jewish roots. As it happens I'm not, but given your similarly international Sondheim avatar, I have to ask, are you Japanese?

I have the same concerns you do about SBC's faux-French spree in Master of the House - sounds like a very strange choice.
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
Went to a screening of
Posted: 12/4/12 at 07:52pm
^ I picked my Avatar because the song is fantastic, the tree design is fantastic, and I remember all those great shows of the past so fondly because...
I WAS YOUNGER THEN!

Turns out I'm Russian Jewish too-- near Odessa on my mom's side, near Lithuania on my Dad's. I'm guessing there's a lot of the tribe out there on this board.

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