Is Sandra Bullock's 'Blind Side' accent authentic?

Writing in The Carpetbagger, The New York Times' Academy Awards blog, Melena Ryzik --  last seen trumpeting the Midtown Memphis nightlife scene --  notes that "Blind Side" star Sandra Bullock's accent in the movie has generated some controversy. Ryzik passes along a complaint she received from a Memphis reader:

"Just for the record, those of us here in Memphis are not necessarily impressed with Ms. Bullock's accent," Susanne Nan Bayes Koenig wrote to the Bagger recently to register a complaint. "She sounds like she is from Georgia, where the film was shot. Lovely woman, great work, two states off."

What do my readers think about this? Does Bullock pull off the accent of her character, Leigh Anne Tuohy? Below, I am posting the official "Blind Side" trailer. Below that, I am posting some video of Tuohy being interviewed. Compare and contrast. And discuss.


28 Comments

Your first clip went south.

The actress' accent is underdone in spots, but then the real woman's accent is too flat in the "I's" and "eyes", a bit country hicky for Memphis today.

Thanks for the heads-up! I have replaced that clip with another one that works.

Susanne Nan Bayes Koenig, lovely lady no doubt, needs her hearing checked. Sandra Bullock sounds very close to Leigh Anne Tuohy. As for it being a "Georgia" accent, not correct. I lived in Georgia for 5+ years and the reason she thinks this is because of the speed -- not the sound -- at which Sandra Bullock delivers her lines.

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Avery Insigner, lovely man no doubt, is totally correct except that he left off that I am stunningly cool as well. No, don't need hearing checked, it is exceptional. I have lived in Memphis over a dozen years and work in film. I have lived in Georgia, New Orleans, California, and can speak French and Scots with an pretty damn good accent. The vowels are too broad for Memphis and my complaint is not that she didn't do a good job, she did, its just that actors don't often distinguish between the states. I can tell South Mississippi from North Mississippi--one sounds redundant and the other is an oxymoron for starters--as well as I can tell Glasgow from Edinburgh. There are subtlties there that those native to Memphis stood out. To her credit, she does not sound like she's from Texas in this performance and as Bullock was raised in Austria and America and shows no discernible German accent EVER is extremely impressive. I just wish that actors would pay closer attention to the regional sounds and not homogenize the south. More often than not, Georgia pops out of their mouths even if they don't mean it to--it's easy to mimic and easy to mistake for a ubiquitous southern sound.

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  • About Links to Memphis

Deputy Online News Editor Mark Richens takes you through all the news about Memphis from sources outside the Mid-South.