The Oscars are tomorrow night. If the Independent Spirit Awards from tonight are any indication, this Oscar race is going to be one to watch. Given the fact that the competition for Supporting Actor is pretty much a given (Congratulations to Jared Leto ahead of time. He just won an Independent Spirit Award. If he doesn’t win, I’ll be really surprised.) Also, congrats to Lupita Nyong’o, unless they give Jennifer Lawrence two Oscars in a row. She’s 23. She’s got time. Cate Blanchett will probably take home the Best Actress Oscar, unless Sandra Bullock comes up from behind. But who knows? This year seems to be a little up in the air for Best Actor and Actress. If the results from the Golden Globes sway voters at all, Amy Adams and Leonardo DiCaprio could take home Oscars instead. Matthew McConaughey is pretty much battling it out with Leo. Chiwetel deserves Best Actor in my humble opinion. Frozen will win Best Original Song (duh.) And Gravity director, Alfonso Cuaron has been sweeping the awards for Director. Then again, since Steve McQueen just won for 12 Years tonight at the Independent Spirit Awards, he could win as well. Best Picture is anyone’s game, but my money is on 12 Years a Slave. But who can tell? American Hustle might be a stealthy one and take the top prize.
First things first. Sorry it’s been a while since my last post. Life tends to get a little hectic sometimes. Anyways, I saw Man of Steel the day it opened with my boyfriend and we both LOVED it. Superheroes have always fascinated me. From a psychological standpoint, to a spiritual one, to just plain enjoying them because they are entertaining, the myth of superheroes has always been one of my favorite things. I was so into Wonder Woman as a kid, that I dressed up as her when I was 5 years old for Halloween. Somewhere, there is a picture and video of it too. The Man of Steel himself, Clark Kent, is other-worldly. Literally. Although, because he was raised on Earth, he has a human side too. I think this is what adds to his appeal as a character. We can aspire, admire and relate to Superman/Clark Kent. I have personal reasons for loving my fair share of super heroes which I won’t divulge quite yet, but in general, they seem to be the epitome of strength and (unless they are evil) have good moral characters. Superman has a moral compass. That’s what makes him human too (though not literally.) In the film, one character even states that “evolution always trumps morality.” It was proven in the end to be false, but it’s quite a question to ponder. Does evolution over-ride morality?
The new film adaptation is fantastic. The acting can be cheesy sometimes, but honestly, I expected that. It’s not like we’re dealing with reality here. Personally, I thought the casting was great with Henry Cavill donning the cape to play Superman. And let me tell you, his acting is great too. I’ll be honest though, the ladies in the audience will be more than happy with him just looking smoldering hot onscreen. Amy Adams playing Lois Lane isn’t really a surprise either, but apparently, this is the third time she’s had to audition to play Lois in a movie version. The first was a un-made movie with Matt Bomer (from TV’s White Collar) and the second was the 2006 movie Superman Returns with Brandon Routh at the helm. I’m glad she was given the opportunity to play Lois Lane and I can’t wait for the sequel. Given the success of opening day and opening weekend, there is going to be sequel.
I’m a Boston gal at heart. When I moved to the Big Apple nearly 6 years ago, I retained something that could be considered a setback: my accent. I remember the first day of class at Circle in the Square Theatre School and the late K.C. Ligon telling me, “We need to work on that” upon hearing me speak. K.C. was a well-respected speech coach within the industry and I credit her and Ken Schatz with helping me ease up on my native dialect. Fun Fact: K.C.’s mother was stage actress, Nora Dunfee, famous for her performance alongside Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump as the Elderly Southern Woman on the bench towards the end of the movie.
Being a Boston girl, I am always aware when actors can and cannot do a good “Boston Accent.” Most commonly, people think of the Boston accent as it is when done by Mark Wahlberg, Ben Affleck, or Matt Damon. But, like any accent, there are certain subtleties that set different sections of Massachusetts apart from another in terms of dialects. Katharine Hepburn, for example, had what is known as a Boston Brahmin accent which is more refined and often considered more “upper-class” than my standard, Boston accent. All I need to do to retain my accent is talk to my parents and I automatically revert back to my natural tongue.
On film, it always helps when there are actual Boston natives involved on the screen or behind-the-scenes within the production if set within the Boston area. Amy Ryan is said to have refined her speech from Jill Quigg, a local whom Ben Affleck ended up casting alongside Ryan in Gone Baby Gone (2007.) Quigg went on to appear alongside Christian Bale and fellow Boston native Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter (2010.)
As a person with a native Boston accent, I can tell you right now, that the actors I have found to be the most convincing with the accent (in recent years) are as follows: Christian Bale (The Fighter) Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) Blake Lively (The Town) Amy Adams & Melissa Leo (The Fighter.) But, there are those who tend to go overboard with their dialect and it sort of sounds like they are making fun of us. Not cool. To illustrate how good these actors do their accents, here are some clips. None of them are natives. Although, in all of these movies, at least one or two native speakers are in the films with them. Also, my acting coach, Ken Schatz, has always said that I need to get rid of my “moshpit” in regards to how I speak. You’ll notice that oftentimes, for as much as we elongate our “A”s and drop our “R”s, we also tend to mumble sometimes. These actors seem to pull of that characteristic well.
Blake Lively (The Town):
Amy Adams & Christian Bale (The Fighter):
Melissa Leo (The Fighter) She is probably the most stereotypical in terms of how people perceive the accent :
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone):
And for the record, we don’t all swear that much. Well…maybe we do.