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Rhondinella

Cora, Countess of Grantham (and her Accent of Unknown Origin)

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Cannot stand the way Cora always has her shoulders hunched and head down, simpering-ish. She is really my least favorite character on the show, though Lady Mary is a close second this last season.

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Cannot stand the way Cora always has her shoulders hunched and head down, simpering-ish.

Yes! And she has exactly one facial expression.

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I'm cutting her a little slack.  When I think of what I know of the polished turn-of-the-century northeastern accent (not much) and then plop on top of that how one's diction must morph after being around folks in Yorkshire for three decades... well, I'm willing to accept what comes out of Cora's mouth.

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Aw, I love Cora. Her accent is admittedly a little off. But I love her combination of innocence and wisdom and how genuinely lovely she is to her family. She picks her battles and doesn't let the important stuff go. The moment when she fired the horrible nanny was awesome. 

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i honestly don't find anything wrong with her accent.  She's been in England for a very long time, so it's not impossible that her accent has become sort of mid-Atlantic-ish. 

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most of my issue with Cora isn't the character herself, but how Elizabeth chooses to play her. she always has the same expression, head down, eyes up, no matter the situation. i wonder if that's a deliberate choice for the character, or just how Elizabeth McGovern acts (i've never seen her in anything else)

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I remember her in "Ordinary People" long ago. She simpered then just as she simpers now. I did not like her at all in "Ordinary People" but I like her playing Cora, can't quite say why. 

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I know I saw Ragtime at some point maybe around ten years ago or so but I didn't remember EM having been in it. Wow, she was a total knockout.

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For such an experienced actress with really quite an impressive resume, in Downton McGovern so often appears to have no idea what her Cora is thinking or feeling.  She often just google-eyes briefly and settles into defeat.  In the scene in the bedroom with Bricker, she appeared an utter blank to me, negative space -- not angry, not frightened, not flattered, not happy-to-see-ya, not afraid of Robert, not angry when Robert pretty much cold-cocked Bricker for no reason (Really, Bricker was trying to leave nor was Cora visibly distressed)) Robert's "explosive attack" on Bricker seemed to come out of nowhere -- he had Bricker on the ground and was choking him, while Cora waved her arms about, and tended to the much-too-easily-put-off Edith. Then standing at the window watching Bricker's departure, how? wistfully, mournfully? I saw no good-bye and good-riddance in her countenance. 

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I think it was more of a wistful look.  I bet she gets bored always having to be Ms. Perfect and was enjoying the all the romantic attention.  I love Cora's character.  She has such patience and softness of character yet underneath there lies a willful woman who knows how to get her way.  She loves her daughters so much.  I find her voice soothing and her accent or manner of speaking doesn't bother me at all. 

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I saw good-bye, good-riddance, and "It's okay if the door hits you in the ass."

 

 

I got a combination of this and yet a slight wistfulness. Like she was angry with him (justifiably!) and wanted him to know it was over and there would be no further contact, but also she felt a little sad because, had he not overstepped, their friendly flirtation might have continued a bit longer and been enjoyable for both of them.

 

Cora is lonely. She doesn't seem to have any close female friends in the Downton Triangle. Bricker got it right that she's "overlooked and ignored" too often. Her life is pleasant but routine and dull. A woman in Cora's position at her time of life might feel, what did Daisy say?, "well chuffed" when a nice man shows interest in her.  She brightened and enjoyed Bricker's company until he failed to observe the proprieties.

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Seriously, what IS that?  I know she's American and lived in Britain for a long time.  But  . . .it still doesn't sound right.

If you make it just a tiny bit more nasal, you get just about every imitation of Truman Capote's voice.  Or I do, at least.

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Did anyone hear the line at the end of the episode where Jack Ross performed at Downton and she told Robert to 'come to bed and dream of RAGTIME."  I caught that one right away but I'm old.  Ha!

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Back in the day, the mid-Atlantic/Continental accent was desirous as a society accent.  Since Downton has a historical expert for the show and he is on set for every taping, maybe Cora's accent is on purpose?? 

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