I recently purchased this movie on DVD. It is a remarkable film. ALL the actors are fantastic. The Julia Roberts character is so interesting; timid but not really, loyal and loving in spite of her horrific upbringing. She was "proper" but certainly was following her interest in Jekyll/Hyde to where ever it was going to take her.
It is always interesting to me when a movie is sexy without any sex!!! I absolutely swooned--and I mean SWOONED a couple of times--the relationship between Mary, Jekyll, and Hyde was steamy to me--the onscreen chemistry between Roberts and Malkovich topped it off. Sorry, I was wishing for a right-nasty shag scene or two.
I think some of the dialogue is particularly beautiful-
As far as accents: I am a stickler on this point. Married to a Brit for longer than I like to remember, I have become well-aquainted with nuances, regions, class, geographic influences, the ebb and flow of language in and out of England. And, I have always had a real interest in dialects, words, and history. I feel it is important not to jump to conclusions about what we know today and what was then. (I highly recommend THE STORY OF ENGLISH (PBS for anyone interested in this area)
I only get upset about poor accents/dialects in a film if it seems to me the actor is just lazy or uneducated about what they are doing.
I do not ever remember seeing Malkovich in any film in which he assumes a foreign dialect or accent, BUT, for some reason it always works for me. He does something with the way he speaks that seems to transcend dialect, accent, time, place--it just always seems right no matter what the piece he is working on.
I will watch this movie many, many times--just another of those great "little" movies you hear little or nothing of that sticks with you--verbally, visually beautiful! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.