Nov 06

Would have been better with Big Ted, Little Ted and Humpty

Do You See + FT6 comments • 1,278 views

Poster ReviewAll The Kings Men: quite simply the worst film I have seen in the cinema for quite some time. We only barely got through it with the aid of a can of beer and guffaws. We just about survived the initial shock of Sean Penn’s ridiculous bouffant hair and even more ridiculous accent. Now I have never been south of the Mason-Dixon line, but even I can tell when a Louisiana accent is lousy. And man jack to a boy nearly all of them in this film are terrible (I will give Winslett a pass cos as far as I can see she gets about two lines in the film). What’s more each of the actors are using different techniques to get their N’Orleans drawl right.

Penn seems to favour the mouthful of marbles method. Jude Law goes for the “not finishing any words” method. Ruffalo mumbles – cleverly obscuring anything he says but is clearly mumbling in an East Coast stylee. Gandolfini has mixed up New Orleans for New Jersey, and use the Ray Winstone method of getting the first line spot on, and then going back to his own accent. Clarkson lets her hair do the talking, with predictable effect. And then there is Antony Hopkins.

I thought he had retired. I hoped he had retired. Perhaps this is his retirement, cos he puts no effort in here.

But then they whole film is poorly structured, never decides who it cares about or why we should care. There is something almost heroic about making a new version of an Oscar winning film and getting everything wrong. A kind of willful ignoring of all the book or previous film gets right. When Penn does another of his demagougic speeches and waves his hands round like Kermit, you wonder why anyone would care. You wonder how anyone understands him. And you wonder how this much potential cinematic talent could arse up so much.


  1. 1
    Dadaismus on 1 Nov 2006 #

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across (non-Southern) American actor who can do a convincing Southern accent, let alone a British actor who can, tho British actors are often better at regional American accents than American are

  2. 2
    tracerhand on 1 Nov 2006 #

    it’s one of cinema’s eternal mysteries.

  3. 3
    Pete Baran on 1 Nov 2006 #


    Birthpaces of cast:
    Lewisham, Santa Monica, Port Talbot, Reading, Wisconsin(Ruffalo shame!), New Jersey and

    HOLD UP: PATRICIA CLARKSON IS FROM NEW ORLEANS!!! Well her hair is anyway.

  4. 4

    i was going to suggest: gary oldman as non-southerner who can do a southern accent convincing to my ear BUT in the film i wz thinkin of he was doing JOHNNY ROTTEN accent and it wz there russell doin the southern accent — so my point may fall :(

    but still: gary oldman?

  5. 5
    tracerhand on 1 Nov 2006 #

    ah pete but the mystery here only deepens: surely one could employ hard-done southern actors for a fraction of what their hollywood counterparts would demand? yet it is not done, even in an age which sees “cold mountain” – a movie that takes place in and is named after a part of the smoky mountains – filmed in romania, for labor reasons.

  6. 6

    i. all movies and TV to be filmed in nu-zealand (nearly already true)
    ii. all actors to be cgi (ditto)
    iii. all voices to be sped-up helium chirrup

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