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Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Fishy Bigness

The god of grating accents is out for revenge: last night he guided my steps to Big Fish.

A triple whammy: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, and the haggard-before-her-time Helena Bonham Carter. I swear she looks in worse shape in her prime than the splendid eye-patched hag with the peekaboo dead eye.

What *must* the others have thought? The craggy Billy Crudup (surely one of the handsomest men on screen?), Buscemi, and the beguiling Alison Lohman. To boot, reminding me of Malkovich's mal a droit tonguing, we had the real thing in Marion Cotillard.

The thing about the American accent is to leave it alone; let it float on that brief breathy platform of air that *makes* the American-ness.

Shibboleths: milkman, envelope, dude, your mother; tell it to the marines; whaddya mean I didn't put the cat out?

And *what* was dear old (Sir) Michael Caine agreeing to, going vowel to flattened vowel with his gritty eminence, Robert Duvall in that westerny number? Maybe they thought the audience's chucking up at that dewy-eyed lad from Sixth Sense would distract from the Caine's Surrey-with-the-Wince-on-Top mouthings.

In fact, the coming attractions were the biggest attraction:

How can I talk of let alone see In America without tears? Too close to my own feeble efforts to do right by my family; too sharp a mirror on my failure of spirit.

Hot tip: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Quel cast list: Jude Law, the divine Gwyneth Paltrow, lippy pouty Angelina Jolie ...

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