Watch: Trailer for Wild Mountain Thyme and its controversial accents
The director of upcoming drama Wild Mountain Thyme has defended his movie in the wake of criticism over the terrible Irish accents depicted in the trailer.
The release of the movie’s teaser earlier this month sparked ridicule for the accents of stars including Emily Blunt, Christopher Walken and Jamie Dornan — who is Northern Irish.
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Irish-American filmmaker John Patrick Shanley said he and the actors opted to make the accents palatable to a global audience rather than produce authentic dialects which might be difficult for audiences to decipher.
He told Variety: “You have to make the accent more accessible to a global audience.”
Wild Mountain Thyme is an adaptation by Shanley of his own 2014 Broadway play Outside Mullingar, which starred Debra Messing.
The story follows farmers Anthony (Dornan) and Rosemary (Blunt) as they juggle their romantic feelings with the fact Anthony’s father (Walken) is considering selling the farm to Jon Hamm’s American interloper.
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Irish Times critic Donald Clarke criticised the movie for its deployment of tired stereotypes, comparing it to “a film set in Mexico featuring characters who sleep all day beneath giant sombreros”.
It was definitely the accents which really got tongues wagging, though, with even the Leprechaun Museum in Dublin and the Irish Embassy in the USA getting in on the social media mockery.
— Leprechaun Museum (@leprechaun_ie) November 10, 2020
To be fair, Irish accents are hard (we struggle with them at times). But otherwise #WildMountainThyme looks great. And, in Jamie Dornan & Emily Blunt, presents a remarkably realistic depiction, visually at least, of the average Irish man & woman. Truly, we are a beautiful people. https://t.co/B2HFOkAhJ0
— Embassy of Ireland USA (@IrelandEmbUSA) November 11, 2020
Fifty Shades of Grey star Dornan told Variety that Anthony is “unlike anyone” he has ever played on the big screen.
He added: “He has insecurities and an oddness and quirks within him that I felt I definitely possessed myself.
“I loved the opportunity to show that off and really heighten and explore and exploit my own weirdness, which I have plenty.”
Wild Mountain Thyme is due to be released in the USA on 11 December, with no UK date confirmed as yet.
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