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The news that Guillermo del Toro and Neil Gaiman were collaborating on a short film called Death And Me , and that the film had just recently moved out of limbo and into active production sparked a controversy in our family as to which actress should portray Gaiman’s perky little Goth-girl Grim Reaper:
I always thought that Selma Blair would be the perfect choice. She’s dark-haired, slender, puckishly beautiful, and has experience in the fantasy/horror genre (Scream 2, Hellboy). My children were aghast. “Dad, you do know she’s almost forty, don’t you?” It was to no avail that I tried to point out that Gaiman’s fictional character was a good deal older than forty. Indeed, forty centuries would probably be a better measure. It didn’t matter. Death should have no wrinkles.
My son wanted to see Thora Birch (Ghost World, American Beauty) take on the part. Miss Birch is an impressive actress and I think she could bring both what my son calls “indie cred” and old-fashioned sex appeal to the part, but a large part of Death’s cachet is her appearance of waifish vulnerability. Miss Birch can certainly do vulnerable, but waifish she is not.
My daughter stood up for current Disney Channel queen Demi Lovato. Demi is dark, slender and very pretty, but she doesn’t have a hint of mystery about her. I was surprised that she didn’t mention fellow Disney protegée Selena Gomez. Selena has the same coloring as Miss Lovato, but she looks more like she could have a mysterious side. Of course, here we are talking about very young women with no track record outside the tightly programmed Disney teen market environment, but then former “Diz kids” like Reese Witherspoon and Hayden Panetierre have emerged from that environment and have established themselves well in the larger world.
Finally, this past week, I was able to catch a movie I had been wanting to see for some time; 500 Days Of Summer. The movie didn’t really live up to its hype. As a chronicle of post-modern relationships among the angsty twenty-something Belle and Sebastian set, I have seen better, but I thought the female lead, Zooey Deschanel, despite the obvious Glass family reference, deserved to be on any short list to play Gaiman’s heroine.
Anybody else with me?