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Cruise on by

Valk2 Valkyrie is just another example of Tom Cruise's arrogance.  I don't understand how he decided to do an historic picture, Valkyrie, about rebels in Nazi Germany but chose not to do the German accent. 

Valkyrie, a 2008 historical thriller film set in Nazi Germany during World War II, depicts the July 20, 1944 plot of German army officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  

Tom Cruise stars as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, one of the key plotters. I have heard critics, while pointing out this not so discreet accent/non accent blunder, sort of give him a pass.  In other words, they say things like, "He is Tom Cruise, people won't buy it."  Look, he is Tom Cruise, one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood and yet he can't take that risk. 

Certainly if he is not capable, not innately gifted with an ear for accents, he could've hired the best coach in town or heck for that matter,  just asked a local German to help out where he was filming.  I just find it so egregious when top actors do this.  This lack of respect for the story and the art form just further confirms my opinion that Cruse is an egomaniac and out of touch.  But if this is indeed the case, he needs to stop driving the point home in every interview, that he's an actor.  Every interview he has to say that he is an actor and he loves taking on an assortment of roles.  It's like his mantra, well that and being against prescription drugs.  Really then why in a story based on a real life did he break the first rule of acting: honor the givens in the script? 

Maybe he points out the fact that he is an actor so much because he's trying to convince himself.  You know what they say about the dog that barks loudest.  By the way,  Mr. Cruise, your blatant disregard for story and the script givens, in my opinion, makes you a celebrity, plain and simple.  An actor would have never ignored the fact that this was a story based on a real man in Nazi Germany.  And if you wanted to ignore realism, why did you film it in Germany and surround yourself with actors who at least attempted some accent other than modern-day standard American.  Geez, set it in Iowa and make it a dream sequence for that matter --- well it's just as stupid--- don't under-estimate your audience.  

As far as spending my money on future Tom Cruise movies, Cruise on by.  The economy is tight.  I would rather see a real actor honor the work and fail miserably than watch a celebrity stroke his own ego.  I am so over it.

-- Heather Langone

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Haven't seen this movie, and maybe won't, but I have a question: Are you saying that Tom Cruise is the only one speaking without a German accent? That would be weird if he were the only one. It would be weird if there were a mix of accents -- unless we see how that represents various German dialects.

In general, if the characters are German and they're in their native land, then I'd expect no actors to be speaking in an accent. Just as I would expect to watch The Seagull without Russian accents when portrayed on an American stage.

Oh well. Say, why is the accent pretty much the only thing to write about? That's not a good sign! I'll take that as the heart of your review.

But, yeah, here's to "real actors" -- I love movies where good actors doing good acting is the main thing, as opposed to those where it's all about spectacle or special effects or MacGuffins. When was the last time Tom Cruise did that? Eyes Wide Shut, perhaps.

I think this film, as with most historical films, should have been made in German. Of course then there is the conundrum of the box office. To make a historical film of such magnitude, with such expensive attention to detail, may not be worth the investment if it couldn't be released widely in the U.S., as would be the case if it were in a foreign language. But this is a very accurate historical film. All the cars, planes, uniforms, places are so accurate, why aren't they speaking German? It would have completed this film, but I am guessing Cruise can't speak German...

To clarify my statement, "this film, as with most historical films, should have been made in German..." I meant that if a film is historical, it would be best served to be made in whatever native language of the location it is set in.

There are of course exceptions. I don't think Stone's Alexander should have been made in ancient Greek.

It's not necessarily logical to use a German accent if the film is about Germans talking to Germans. In fact, it's acceptable to have a variety of accents filling the screen when the represented language would not be English. (Think of Branagh's Much Ado.) If it's a distraction, however, then they need to work with a dialect coach. In addition, there are lots of online resources these days, from YouTube to the International Dialects of English Archive for listening to native speakers, to http://www.AccentHelp.com for recordings of dialect coaches teaching the accents. It’s hard to “believe” excellent acting work if the sounds they're making are just distracting...

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