Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
11

TV Feature

Let's get ready to mumble! 13 amazingly incoherent performances

By
Eh? What did he say?

Earlier this week, viewers complained that they couldn't make out half of what was being said in BBC One's new drama Jamaica Inn. A combination of Cornish accents and dodgy sound meant that most of the dialogue went over people's heads. Say what you want about Made in Chelsea or EastEnders, but at least you can follow what's going on.

Turn on the subtitles as Digital Spy takes a look back at some of the most confusing performances from TV and film, whether it was intentional or not.

1. Bane - Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises)
Fans of Christopher Nolan's Batman series were already concerned about Bane after seeing the first trailer. After reassurances that the sound will be altered in time for its full release, we are as confused as ever by what Bane was going on about. We thought Christian Bale's growling Batman was bad enough. This was perfectly lampooned by Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in the second series of The Trip.


2. Rust Cohle - Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)
Southern states such as Louisiana can often be difficult to decipher for us Brits, but McConaughey took the biscuit in the excellent HBO drama. There were a silly amount of times that subtitles were required when Rust would start one of his long drawn-out monologues. Even Woody Harrelson's Marty struggled to understand, and he was almost as bad! Hats off to Joel McHale's spoof ("Moles in the Mary's and Mary's in the moles").


3. Arthur Webley - David Bradley (Hot Fuzz)
Nick Frost's Danny Butterman is required to interpret both farmer Webley and Karl Johnson's PC Bob Walker in this clip, which perfectly mocks the issues regarding people not being understand regional accents, as was the problem with Jessica Brown Findlay and co in Jamaica Inn.


4. Vito Corleone - Marlon Brando (The Godfather)
The godfather of mumbling performances, Brando's take on the Don proved that enunciation was not always required, as he took home an Oscar for the role (well, he actually turned it down but that's beside the point). Pretty much any performance from Brando could go on this list, with honorable mentions going to A Streetcar Named Desire and Apocalypse Now.


5. Shy Ronnie - Andy Samberg (The Lonely Island)
This is a bit of a silly one but when else are we going to be able to put this in a feature? Samberg's Shy Ronnie and partner-in-crime Rihanna attempt to rob a bank, but Shy Ronnie is unable to use his "outside voice" in telling their hostages - including Jon Hamm - what to do.


6. Everyone in Parade's End
Jamaica Inn isn't the first BBC drama that has received complaints about the sound quality. Viewers moaned about not being able to understand most of what Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall and co were saying in 2012's excellent drama. Birdsong, Ripper Street and Shetland are among other dramas that may also confuzzle viewers.

Parades End S01E01: Cristopher and Mrs Tietjens

© BBC / Mammoth Screen


7. Fred Fenster - Benicio Del Toro (The Usual Suspects)
Del Toro purposely played the character with an incoherent accent, so much so that the cast including Gabriel Byrne had no idea what he was saying half the time. Director Bryan Singer told Byrne: "If you don't understand what he's saying maybe it's time we let the audience know that they don't need to know what he's saying."


8. Reuben J 'Rooster' Cogburn - Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
Western characters are among the most difficult to understand in cinema history, especially if it involves Jeff Bridges in a Coen brothers movie. Honestly, try and make out what the hell Bridges is on about in this scene without having to really concentrate hard. Bridges is also the culprit of mumbling in RIPD, Tron: Legacy and pretty much everything he is in.


9. Mickey O'Neil - Brad Pitt (Snatch)
Purposely performed in a bizarre mix of Irish and English - or 'pikey' as they're all described in the film - Pitt's amazing turn as traveller boxer Mickey is one of the best when it comes to confusing other characters. Do you like dags?


10. Ennis Del Mar - Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain)
Ledger was excellent in the role of the softly-spoken closeted Ennis Del Mar in Ang Lee's classic. Sadly, he was at times too softly spoken with a thick accent, making it rather difficult to know what he was saying to Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) during their complicated romance.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain

© Rex Features / Focus/Everett/Rex Features


11. Rocky Balboa - Sylvester Stallone (All the Rocky films)
You could have randomly selected any Stallone film to go on this list, but it has to go to his iconic boxer. At times the films don't really even need a script - you can just make out from his facial expressions what he's going through. This speech from Rocky Balboa is the most hilarious.


12. Walt Kowalski - Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino)
Clint Eastwood has always been known for his snarling tones, and it has never been more evident or menacing than in Gran Torino. You can just about make out what he's saying throughout the film, though you feel that he needs a bloody good cough every once in a while.


13. Rowley Birkin QC - Paul Whitehouse (The Fast Show)
To be fair to Rowley, he was very, very drunk.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...