Monday, June 29, 2015

Accents Mastered updated

Ok this is kind of a lame post, but I realized that I hadn't updated the "Accents Mastered' tag since 2012.  The only film I have to add is The Homesman.  I realize she's barely in the film and some may not necessarily think she's using much of an accent, but after the first clip of her performance came out, I remember doing a little research on what someone living in Iowa in the mid 19th century would sound like.  I believed I settled on "Central Plains Midwestern."  Yup.

The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)--Tennessean
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)--British (specifically Received Pronunciation)
Sophie's Choice (1982)--Polish (in English and German)
Silkwood (1983)--Texan
Plenty (1985)--British
Out of Africa (1985)--Danish
Ironweed (1987)--Irish-American
A Cry in the Dark (1988)--New Zealand (with strong layers of Australian)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)--Italian (Meryl calls it Iowatalian)
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)--Irish
Angels in America (2003)--Yiddish and Bronx (in separate roles)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)--Midwestern
Doubt (2008)--Bronx
Julie & Julia (2009)--Boston Brahmin
The Iron Lady (2011)--British (Received Pronunciation)
August: Osage County (2013)--Oklahoman
The Homesman (2014)--Central Plains Midwestern


  1. Simply amazing. Truly no other actor has anywhere near as good an ear for language....I think it just may be "the" critical factor that puts her a step above the rest of the awards worthy actors and makes her "the" greatest. Others on top of their game may be able to look and behave like a character in a similar vain as Meryl but I'm convinced the vocal aspect cannot be taught even to the best of actors and certainly not in the often extremely subtle ways Meryl will change her voice (when it's not an accent but only a die-hard fan would recognize it's not her real voice). Most don't bother to change their voices at all and it seems like it comes pretty easily to Meryl- she must have something in her brain that allows her to mimic voices in a way that others cannot no matter how hard they try. Maybe it's a gift similar to having perfect pitch- you either physiologically have it or you don't and it cannot truly be learned.
    But I'm assuming this means there has been no real Meryl news to speak of lately? No news on what may be on the table after Florence? Seeing as we're at about the month countdown to Ricki I'm a bit surprised I haven't seen much promotion yet.

    1. This is true of Ricki too, her voice is subtly deeper and more drawn out but most people wouldn't really discern the difference..

    2. I think Streep's fantastic ear for speech isn't applauded enough. People want to poke fun at her always doing accents, but as she's said, "if you capture someone's speech, you capture them."

      There is not a lot of news currently for things coming up after filming Florence,. That should wrap in July then I'm guessing she'll come back to the states to do a few promos for Ricki before it opens 8/7. Then I'm PRAYING she does The Good House this fall.

  2. Most of Meryl's characters (really close to all I'm convinced) have voices that are not accents but are obviously intended because they're not Meryl's true voice- and I don't think she gets the credit she deserves for this more subtle voice work. I mean the voices she used in One True Thing (higher, sweeter), Music of the Heart, Devil Wears Prada (monotone), Hope Springs, and now Ricki(more of a throaty smokers voice) seem "normal" enough like she used her real voice but if you know how Meryl really talks you know she spoke a certain way on purpose in each of those films. It just blows my mind.

    1. Totally agreed. It's not just with accents. The "voice" is part of that person, just like their hair, appearance, mannerisms, facial expressions. She does everything so well it's mind boggling how she is able to negotiate it all.