Foxcatcher, a depiction of the troubled relationship between millionaire John DuPont and Olympic winners Dave and Mark Schultz (Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum respectively) has been doing the rounds recently, being critically lauded as a perfect depiction of DuPont’s near-obsessive involvement in wrestling. It has been seen through a multitude of thematic lenses, ranging from classist interpretations through to homoerotic assumptions regarding DuPont’s opinion of Mark Schultz. While all of these ideas are relatively justified, the difficulty in Foxcatcher lies in the fact that it never really settles on any one interpretation. Coming out of the film and attempting to understand the specific vision of director Bennett Miller, one is left mildly bemused and a bit startled. (more…)
Made in Chelsea: London’s answer to The Hills and the ‘classier’ version of The Only Way is Essex. We were all taken in by the glitz and the glam of London’s ‘elite’ when the show first debuted back in 2011, but the question is, why are we still watching it? The show is infamous for its ridiculously long awkward silences that make it glaringly obvious that the show is scripted and that the cast are terrible at acting. But we still come back for more. (more…)
It is easy to see how Greg Brenman stays true to his maxim of being nice to everyone he meets. Warm, confident and possessing a dry sense of humour, he speaks easily and eloquently about his work as Producer on massive successes like Billy Elliot, Peaky Blinders and Ripper Street, to the audience at the Q&A organized by the Oxford Broadcasting Association. I caught up with Brenman afterwards to talk to him more about his role as Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed miniseries, The Honourable Woman. (more…)
I used to like Take Me Out. It was rubbish, but it was the kind of rubbish that has a perverse appeal. It was the sort of cheesy, cheeky entertainment that belongs on a Saturday night. Not anymore. I was surprised, but secretly pleased, when it was brought back for a second run. Now I’m just waiting for it to die. (more…)
5. Russell Crowe, Robin Hood (2010)
Yet again, the accent of the famous outlaw has claimed another victim. Crowe’s Hood switches between a sort of Irish, a kind of Northern, and a few entirely fabricated accents whenever he feels like it.
4. Mischa Barton, St. Trinian’s (2007)
As the former head girl of the eponymous riotous school, Barton’s dreadful mash-up of American and, well, “English”, is shielded by the fact that the character used to live in the US, but there’s no denying that the attempt is dreadful nonetheless.
3. Shia LaBeouf, Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 and 2 (2013)
It’s difficult to tell whether LaBeouf is attempting to mimic a British or South African accent – or is it Australian? Either way, it doesn’t make sexual predator Jerôme any less creepy. Rumour has it LaBeouf wasn’t cast for his acting skills anyway.
2. Keanu Reeves, Dracula (1992)
What was Francis Ford Coppola thinking? Reeves is so deplorably awkward as Jonathan Harker that he looks to be in genuine pain when delivering his lines. Any ounce of respect esteemed actors Gary Oldman or Anthony Hopkins brought to this production is shattered every time Reeves opens his mouth.
1. Dick Van Dyke, Mary Poppins (1964)
It had to be on here. His infamous “cockney” accent for Bert the chimney sweep is the stuff of legend. He claims that nobody alerted him to the preposterousness of his English attempt at the time of the shoot (we’ll never forgive Julie Andrews for that). Poor Dick Van Dyke – will he ever live this down?
The challenge of adapting any stage musical to film is a significant one. This is obviously true for a well-known hit such as Les Miserables¸ but even a relative rarity such as Into The Woods – a Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine creation from the 80s – comes with its own set of challenges: not least how to attract a cinema audience that would mostly never choose to go to see an off-Broadway deconstruction of the idea of fairy tales. (more…)