Why are we so sensitive about accents in films? Is it because some film critics pounce on anything that they can be critical about? Well, they do watch a lot of films and while that would be heaven for me – I’m not a film critic. Abbie Cornish was part of an ensemble acting award as Willoughby’s wife Anne in Three Billboards, yet she came under fire for her accent. Dugh! She was an integral part of McDonagh’s amazing film. Now Julia Garner is being criticized in some quarters for her accent in Inventing Anna. I think she uses the accent beautifully. She plays the part of the young Anna Delvey, who wants her dreams to come true and enters into a charade to make it happen.
The successful accent is when the ‘melody’ of the character’s mother tongue is transposed into the English English or American English. The real Anna Delvey spent a lot of time perfecting her American accent but her German and Russian would have come through sometimes in the ‘melody’ or rhythm and intonation. She must have learned how to use this to her advantage in her dealings with powerful people and this is exactly what Julia Garner does. It’s great to see Garner as Anna using thin-lipped altercations and Russian consonants when she’s feeling cornered. Inventing Anna is a fascinating story and great to watch and to think that Garner was filming Ozark as Ruth Langmore at the same time. Wow! But she did spend 6 months working on the Ozark accent. To a good actor, an accent is a gift.