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Anne Hathaway may have received critical acclaim for her performances in films like Brokeback Mountain and Rachel Getting Married — which scored the actress an Oscar nomination — but there is one area she’s apparently yet to hone.
In a recent interview with the Boston Globe, Hathaway admitted that taking on a British dialect n Focus Features’ new release, One Day, co-starring native Englishman Jim Sturgess, was a bit of a challenge for the New Jersey native. “I definitely felt the pressure,” she said, before adding, “But I had a lot of support from a dialect coach; a strong, fearless director; and a beautiful costar.”
However, the critics don’t agree. The actress is getting slammed for her attempt accent attempt in the movie adaptation of David Nicholls‘ best-selling book.
“I was so distracted, wondering what version of the mother tongue she was going to attempt next – veering from wartime-BBC to proper ‘Eeee by gum’ clangers – I actually forgot to cry, which was a shame, as it’s a corker of a tale, and Edinburgh and London both look lovely,” critiques Caroline Frost of the Huffington Post.
“Hathaway falls into a mugging performance from her stint as co-host of the Oscars, where James Franco’s somnambulant apathy threw her impatient perfectionism into relief,” writes The Village Voice. “She gives a similarly agitated turn here, often all but underlining a line reading in smug satisfaction, sometimes rushing through them as if to distract from her dodgy, hodgepodge British accent.”
Total Film says, “Hathaway has clearly attended the Michael Fassbender School of Mix ‘n’ Match Accents – broad Yorkshire to RP within scenes – but she brings a vulnerable edge to her prickly character.”
Film critic Emanuel Levy takes a harsher stance, declaring, “If Hathaway’s inconsistent British accent was the only problem in her acting, you could easily forgive and forget it. But rendering one of her weakest performances, she seems lost in the puzzle, perhaps a function of being misguided by Scherfig–or simply being miscast.”
But, the actress isn’t the only one Levy critiques for their on-screen speech. Her co-star Patricia Clarkson is “also struggling with a coherent accent,” he says.
“I’m not of the no-American-can-play-a-Brit school of casting (Renée Zellweger will forever be my Bridget Jones), but Anne Hathaway’s rangy American gameness, big smile and shining good health are the physical and psychological opposite of what makes Emma more than just an awkward duckling who takes a very long time to become a swan,” writes EW‘s Lisa Schwarzbaum.
But, the London Evening Standard critic didn’t take issue with the actress’ attempt, saying “I found her Yorkshire accent credible: certainly more convincing than Jim Sturgess’s odd channelling of Pierce Brosnan’s voice for Dexter.”
So, maybe most of the Yanks have it wrong!
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