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The glass may be half empty but it will contain good whiskey. I write film reviews for http://www.scannain.com/ , say hi and we can debate films forever and ever and ever...... Warning this blog may contain more than just film talk.

Friday, 17 June 2011

5 Crimes against Ireland perpetrated by Hollywood

Of course every nation will complain about the portrayal of their people onscreen. But there is something about the grating God-awful Irish stereotypes that frequent Hollywood movies. Anytime an Irish character appears on screen Ireland collectively put their hands over their eyes. When a character travels to Ireland onscreen we silently wait in abject horror for the rolling hills and 19th century characters and settings.

Below is a selection of my own personal injustices. Just to make it clear, this is not really a comedy list, rather a slightly angry list directly aimed at Hollywood's laziness when it comes to other nations.

1. Sean Connery in the Untouchables.

To be fair I should point out that Sean Connery is an equal opportunities offender. Not bothering to hide his Scottish accent to play a Russian submarine commander (The Hunt For Red October) or that quintessentially English character James Bond. But the peak of this acting laziness is his turn as Malone the Irish beat cop in The Untouchables. Given that the character lives in America and is from Ireland you would think his accent would be a slightly Americanised Irish accent. But no, it is a thick Scottish brogue. It also won him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, beating Denzel Washington in Cry Freedom. It is a strange world. 10 seconds of this hideous accent is all I could inflict.

2. Derby O Gill and the Little People

This took years to get over. Enough said, better just to watch. And Sean Connery is in it.

3. The Devils Own

Oh God, where do you even start with this one?

Bad Brad Pitt accent? Check. Flat Guinness and corned beef and cabbage dinner? Check. Dull, done to death, IRA plotline? Check. How much more should the poeple who suffered during the troubles have to suffer through horrible films like this? How did anyone even want to see this after taking one look at the trailer?

4. Julia Roberts in Michael Collins

What fresh hell is this? Period films are rarely made in Ireland, especially big Hollywood budget versions, but this is what Neil Jordan did in 1996. In order to buy into the film certain character actors were needed to bring the story to life. This film had them in spades, from Liam Neeson to Ian Harte to Sean Mc Ginely, they all convinced you that you were back in the throngs of the War of Independence. Hell, even Aidan Quinn, struggling manfully with the Irish accent, managed to pull it off. Just as you were about to shout bravo at a job well done Julia bloody Roberts comes waltzing into a scene and the game is up. It is the acting equivalent of a hand grenade lobbed in. The rest of the movie is equal parts impressive, stirring and even moving, mixed with Pretty Woman. It does get a little surreal. I can only imagine Hollywood insisted on a ‘name’ in exchange for the budget. I wish they hadn’t. It is about 6 minutes into the clip below when your head starts to hurt.

5. Leap Year

The trailer is all you need to see here to know that Hollywood truely hates the Irish people, especially the 19th century looking people who seem to populate this film. How provincial a country do we look in this? If it wasn't for Amy Adams modern clothes and electricity this could be a film set in the time of the famine. Indeed there is even the classic 'it has happened to everyone' hilarious moment when the wrong voltage brings a power cut to the entire village. Not to mention the fact that the B&B owners will only accept customers who are married. Surely as a country we deserve better than this?

These are the ones that really bug me, anyone got any others that I have missed?

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