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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

this is why Neil Gaiman is a god

I don’t know why it took this long, but yesterday, the Guardian published “A nobody’s guide to the Oscars,” by Neil Gaiman. He was present at that august event because he wrote the source material for Coraline, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature:

I had also written a 15-second sequence for the Oscars, in which Coraline told an interviewer what winning an Oscar would do for her. I’d assumed that would get me into the Oscars. It didn’t. But Henry [Selick], as director, had tickets and could decide where they would go, and one of them went to me.

Gaiman’s narration of the evening is bursting with modesty, humor, generosity, and some surprising observations:

Focus Films, which distributed Coraline, is looking after me. The night before the Oscars, they had a small reception at the Chateau Marmont for their two nominees, Coraline and A Serious Man. The partygoers were a strange mash-up of Minneapolis Jews and animators. Even more oddly, I was one of the Minneapolis Jews (or almost – I wound up comparing notes with one of the other partygoers on the St Paul newspaper’s pulse-pounding exposé that I actually live an hour away from Minneapolis).

And some unexpected ones:

A limo picks me up at 3pm, and we drive to the Oscars. It’s a slow drive: streets are closed off. The last civilians we see are standing on a street corner holding placards telling me that God Hates Fags, that the recent earthquakes are God’s Special Way of Hating Fags, and that the Jews Stole something, but I can’t see what, as another placard is in the way.

And one that is so beautiful and poetic that it almost makes me want to cry:

the women look like butterflies

And one that is so sad it almost makes me want to cry:

No one wants to take my photo, or, Deette discovers, to interview me. I’m invisible.

Read the whole thing. It’s fantastic.

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