There were a number of things I could have Googled after watching The Keeping Room, a Civil War-era drama now playing in limited release. Like, “How many females were widowed and/or orphaned by the war?” or “What was the condition of the South after General Sherman plowed through?” or “How many soldiers died?” And many more.
But here’s what I Googled instead: “Why is there so much mumbling in modern movies?”
I’m not talking about mumblecore, the sub-genre where you might expect some inaudible dialogue, given the often-low production values. I’m talking about mumbling, where the actors just don’t articulate their lines very well. And/or the director and sound team do a lousy job picking up those lines.
Apparently this is really a thing too. Some of my search results:
“Why we can’t hear anything in the movies any longer?”
There were more, but you get the point. It’s not just me. You’ve probably noticed too.
And what a shame, because I think The Keeping Room is a very good film—at least for a film where I probably couldn’t understand 20 percent of the dialogue. I even had the advantage of watching at home, on my BluRay player (the studio sent a disc, since there weren’t any local screenings scheduled). My home sound system is a good one too. But even with the advantage of rewinding and re-listening to some spoken lines, I couldn’t make them out. (Alas, press screeners don’t have subtitles.)
One of the lead characters is played ...1
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The Keeping Room
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