notes from the homeland

I found Leo DiCaprio so completely believable as a South African — his looks and manner and accent reminding me so strongly of the South African men I’ve come into contact with (my husband comes from S.A., has family here, and I visited the country for the first time several years ago) — that I probably would have enjoyed BLOOD DIAMOND just on Leo’s performance alone.

Beside me, E would bark startled laughter at inappropriate moments. He explained to me that the dialogue was “filled with South African colloquialisms” which he’s just not used to hearing in an American theatre showing a Hollywood movie starring famous American actors. It’s probably the same way I feel — that little frisson of shock and delight, of recognition of ‘home’ — whenever I see characters handling Canadian money* in a movie (not bloody often). At one point a character spoke a foreign language into a phone, and E leaned over to me and whispered, “He’s speaking Afrikaans.”

* Yes yes, I know from an American perspective Canadian money looks like play money. All the different pretty colors, not to mention the loonies and toonies.

I remember watching a movie once and wondering, “Why is that actor speaking so…oddly?” About halfway through the film I finally realized: That’s supposed to be his attempt at some kind of Canadian accent. I found that hilarious, eh?


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