An ADS evaluation of dialects in movies?

Thu Nov 18 16:12:06 UTC 1999

        Often, after I see a movie, I find myself talking with - or
arguing with - friends about how well or badly certain dialects are
performed - especially in cases where it's known that the actors in
question are not native speakers of the dialects.  E.g., in _The Insider_,
where British Michael Gambon and Canadian Colm Feore and Australian
Russell Crowe and British Christopher Plummer are all doing various
American accents (I know, I switched from dialect to accent - and accent
is the key term here).  The thing is, though, I'm often pretty uncertain
about the judgments being made - my own, but other viewers' also.  I
mean, what are they based on?
        So I had this fantasy that some ADS group would devise an accent
rating system for film - four stars for Christopher Plummer, two and a
half for Colm Feore, one and a half for Michael Gambon, whatever.  Anyone
        I'm putting this comically, but I actually think there are important
matters lurking here.
        Best, Larry Rosenwald

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