Monday, March 20, 2006

S for Sucks!

It's official: Natalie Portman has dethroned Nicolas Cage as the movie star with the worst accent work. True, Nicolas Cage has seemingly done it all, from the craptacular "Italian" accent in Captain Corelli's Mandolin to his almost Gump-esque takes on the Southern drawl. He even threw in a little Russian for good measure in Lord of War. In spite of these heroic efforts, Ms. Portman has, with a single role, proven that not all British people sound smart and refined. Portman was clearly channelling Charlize Theron's retarded Brit on Arrested Development when she portrayed the role of Evey in V for Vendetta.

A so-called native Londoner, Evey is just your typical size 0 model citizen until she gets swept into the world of V, the bastard son of The Phantom of the Opera and Cindy Sheehan (angry political harpy extraordinaire). V apparently needs Evey to help him with his latest self-righteous terrorist act, no doubt because of her dazzling rhetorical skills and substantial muscle tone. Oops, scratch that. He just thinks she's cute. And she is! I'm talking curly hair and whimsically feminine blouses here, people.

The official back story is that V was once a political prisoner, and years of being a bizarre guinea pig and one night of a towering inferno turn him into a freedom fighter. It would seem that the trauma of having to wear gloves to cover one's burns is too much for poor Hugo Weaving to bear. If he had lived in the Midwestern US, where 7-8 months of winter force you to wear the most unflattering clothes imaginable, he may have just become a cranky drunk (like the rest of us).

To make a long story short (too late!), Evey and V fall in love as much as a masked weirdo and a wooden stick figure possibly can, and a terribly obvious political point is made. In case you didn't know, poisoning innocent schoolchildren and persecuting homosexuals is very, very wrong. Take a minute and process that if you need to. Returning to my original point, Natalie Portman's attempt to play the cute British girl alongside genuine, talented British actors (Stephen Rea clearly had some debts to pay) made me long for the animated emotional roller coaster that was Padme Amidala. If there's a God, she'll be presenting Best Onscreen Fart at next year's MTV Movie Awards, and leave the acting to the grown-ups. Dakota Fanning, I'm looking in your direction!