Valkyrie accents defended
Bryan Singer has been defending the fact that the actors in his upcoming World War II film Valkyrie all use their native accents and not English language German accents.
Valkyrie is the story of the plot by some leading Nazi figures, to assassinate Hitler in the late stages of World War II to try and end the war and save Germany.
The film stars a host of big name actors from across the globe and they're all using their native accents, from American to English to European, and some have hit out at the film and the director for allowing them to do this.
Personally I agreed originally. I thought that it would sound a little strange and rather off to hear the actors in their own accents playing German roles, and some might find that rather confusing considering the Nazi's would be speaking English and American.
However as I thought about it I realised that it isn't that bad, and that it does allow you to get into the characters and the actors performances much easier than a fake German accent would.
Ideally I would have liked them all to have learned German and the film subtitled, now that would be authentic, and anyone who says that they would have preferred the actors to speak in an accent mimicking a German speaking English is entirely missing the point, for isn't that as bad as hearing them speak their own languages?
In fact suggesting that it isn't as authentic if they don't speak with German speaking English accents rather ignorant? It's no more near reality than allowing the actors to speak their own language, which provides the audience with a much more accessible performance and one that provides for more range and emotional subtleties from the actor.
I've just watched Kenneth Branagh wonderfully play Wallander on television, Wallander is a Swedish detective from a series of famous novels. Throughout the series the actors were recognisably British and made no attempt to speak Swedish at all.
For the first few minutes I found myself slightly annoyed and upset at the fact that they weren't adopting accents, but from there on the driving narrative and the performances pulled me into the story and didn't let me go. I forgot about the accents, but the authentic locations and props throughout let you remember where you were. I thought it was fantastically done.
"If everyone was trying to do German accents, the risk of it feeling false was really high. It would make no sense. Why would they be speaking in German accents? They're German."
Just to clarify, what he's saying is why would Germans be speaking English in a German accent all the time, they're in Germany speaking with other Germans!
What they should have done for the utmost authenticity is make all the actors learn to speak authentic German and subtitle the film, that's what these people who are complaining about the accents are suggesting. Of course the problem then is that these people probably wouldn't watch the film as it's subtitled!
What do you think on the matter of actors adopting English based accents for foreign roles? Is it really necessary?