Begorrah! Russell Crowe as Stage Oirish Thug in “Winter’s Tale” (Trailer Review)


By Niall McArdle

Winter’s Tale looks like a silly slice of time travelling romance, the perfect thing for Valentine’s Day. A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.

It has an attractive pair of leads, Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay (she was the only reason I watched Downton Abbey). It’s taken from a novel by Mark Helprin, and is written and directed by Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind), hence the presence of Jennifer Connolly and Russell Crowe. Another Goldsman favourite, Will Smith, also appears.

Based on the trailer, though, what I’m most curious about is Crowe’s choice of accent. Ah begob! I wonder if Colin Farrell had a quiet word with him on the setIs Crowe supposed to be Irish? Or is it just a bad Newfoundland accent? I suppose we should be grateful he’s not gone for the plumminess he usually adopts (see Man of Steel)

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7 thoughts on “Begorrah! Russell Crowe as Stage Oirish Thug in “Winter’s Tale” (Trailer Review)

    1. well, of course, we’re sensitive to bad Oirish accents as we hear so many of them from Hollywood: Tom Cruise, Gerard Butler, Julia Roberts, etc.. (I just watched “August Rush” a while back on DVD and there’s an actor in it who’s supposed to be Jonathan Rhys Myers’ brother: I think the actor is in fact Australian, so perhaps your theory holds true: his accent is dire and painful to listen to)

      i honestly can’t think of any non-Irish actor who has managed to do it well, and Crowe should know better … could they not find an Irish actor for the part? Or just have the character be from somehwere else?

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      1. “Tell me ya like ME HAT.” We got some classics out of actors chancing their arms with Oirish accents though, didn’t we?

        But you’re so right. For years now I’ve been asking that question. If you want an Irish character with an Irish accent why don’t you get an Irish actor!? Heaven knows we have enough of them. And mostly extremely talented too. Why does Crowe need to be Irish in this at all? Maybe we’re missing an important part of the plot there just from the trailer, but isn’t it supposedly based in England? Make him English for crying out loud. He’s Aussie, he can pull English off.

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      2. this is the plot (per Wikipedia):
        Set in 1916 and present-day Manhattan, A New York Winter’s Tale follows the story of Peter Lake (Colin Farrell). Peter Lake is a thief who falls in love with Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), a dying girl who occupies one of the houses he breaks into. Lake is saved from the Irish insane gangster Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) and his gang of thugs by Athansor, a mysterious white horse who becomes his guardian angel.

        I have no idea why they don’t cast Irish actors for this sort of thing. I just saw “Cloud Atlas”: Tom Hanks gives the old Oirish accent a go in that; it’s pretty bad, but thankfully brief.

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      3. Okay wow, I got nearly none of that from the trailer. Which, I suppose, is a good thing these days.

        The only actor to ever give us a convincing Irish accent was Daniel Day-Lewis. I haven’t seen Cloud Atlas, did you enjoy it?

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      4. “Cloud Atlas” is a triumph of makeup and production design, and it has cool visual effects, all serving a story that for me was not as significant as it could have been. I haven’t read the novel, and perhaps if I had, I would have appreciated the film more. It has great ideas and packs a few emotional punches, but it’s written and edited in such a manner that just as you’re getting into one of the strands, it cuts to a different one. And it’s almost three hours, which is just too long, and one of the storylines is written in some sort of deliberately odd pidgin English, which might make you want to turn on the subtitles. It does all make sense in the end, but it’s a long walk for a short day at the beach. Still, I think it’s worth a look, if only to see if you can spot the famous faces underneath the makeup. There’s dodgy accents a-plenty: Hanks does a weird Scottish burr at one point. Hugh Grant is by far the best thing in the whole film.

        And I agree about Daniel Day-Lewis, though I have a friend from Norn Iron that thought his accent in “In the Name of the Father” is technically incorrect for the area and class of Belfast that Gerry Conlon is from.

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