Which actors that used accents that were supposed to be from your neighborhood did a good job, and which ones didn’t? This can be a regional US thing, a different country thing, whatever.
For example: I thought Collin Farrel did a decent job of an American accent in Minority Report, but it wasn’t regional - just American.
I thought everyone in Fargo did a good job with their North Dakota accents.
I also thought James Cromwell did a decent Irish accent in L.A. Confidential, but I’m probably wrong about that, since I’m not Irish.
Julian McMahon does a pretty good American accent also - I never noticed an Australian accent in Nip/Tuck, Charmed, or the few scenes from the trailer of Fantastic Four that I saw. Does he even have an Australian accent?
So which actors have delivered good / horrific accents?
Oh, and let’s get this out of the way: Bad: cf. Kevin Coster: “entire film career.”
Well kind of related… I read a terrible script once that had characters from Montana talking like Southerners. Being born and raised in Great Falls, I think I can safely say that we Montanans speak nothing like our southern cousins.
In Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders, which is set in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, nobody really sounded as if they were from Tulsa. Or from Oklahoma, for that matter. It was an excellent film, but it didn’t have much regional flavor to it.
I disagree. I grew up in Fargo and the movie did a fairly good job of butchering the regional accent. At best you could compare it to a movie set in the south where the actors take on a Slim Pickens-style drawl.
It speaks for the quality of other acquired accents in movies. And the northern accent is an easy one!
The closest movies set/filmed close to where I grew up were Big Fish, The Grass Harp and Rosa Parks, all of them filmed in Wetumpka, AL, the city where I went to school about 20 miles from the farm where I grew up. In all cases the accents were mostly dreadfully inaccurate, with the exceptions of
-Nell Carter (hardly surprising as she was born and reared in Alabama)
-Sonny “Enos” Shroyer [Rosa Parks Story]-a native [and I believe resident] of Valdosta, Georgia
-Sissy Spacek- she had a bit of an eccentric accent but I’ve known Southern women who sounded like her
The worst included
-Charles Durning- I think he’s a great character actor, but in Grass Harp he used the same generic accent he used in Evening Shade, Oh Brother Where Out Thou and other Southern ventures. It doesn’t really sound like any region.
-Mary Steenburgen- I can’t stand this actress and she used the same voice she always uses.
-Roddy McDowell- he played a slightly effeminate Southern barber who calls all men “Honeychild”. The accent sounded like an Englishman making fun of a southern accent, and a barber who called grown men Honeychild in the Depression era south would have been rather unlikely.
In the whole history of American stage and cinema NO ONE has ever done a proper Missouri accent. Not Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight, not James Whitmore in Give "em Hell, Harry! not any adaptation of Huckleberry Finn. Never.
In fairness, though, that’s because the damned accent changes every 50 miles or less. Hell, we can’t even agree whether to pronounce the damn state as “Mizz-ooh-ree”, “Mizz-ooh-rah” or some other variation.
I have to give Oliver Stone’s JFK mad props for all the actors who at least attempted New Orleans accents. At least someone out there in Hollywood realized that natives of New Orleans don’t sound like Cajuns or Scarlett O’Hara.
My brother in law is from LA. The last time he came home with my sister, one of her friends from high school tried to teach him how to say some things with a northern accent. What sounded ok to him wasn’t very close to the real deal.
Anyway, I sounded pretty snarky in my first post. I didn’t mean to be a shit. Please accept my apologies.