Anne Hathaway is no Gwyneth Paltrow. That’s not editorializing on TIME’s part but a simple fact when it comes to comparing the two American actresses’ attempts to nail a convincing British accent. While Paltrow has excelled in the likes of Emma, Sliding Doors, Shakespeare in Love and Sylvia, Hathaway’s hapless hammering of the Yorkshire dialect via the part of Emma Morley in One Day is heinous enough to almost bar her from visiting England.
And unfortunately for Hathaway, the critics have sharpened their pencils in almost unanimous agreement. “Her dodgy, hodgepodge British accent,” wrote the Village Voice. “I was so distracted, wondering what version of the mother tongue she was going to attempt next — veering from wartime-BBC to proper ‘Eeee by gum’ clangers — I actually forgot to cry,” noted Caroline Frost in the Huffington Post. And most damning: “If Hathaway’s inconsistent British accent was the only problem in her acting, you could easily forgive and forget it. But rendering one of her weakest performances, she seems lost in the puzzle …” said film critic Emanuel Levy. Perhaps she should stick to the Oscar-hosting gig after all.