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Nancy Franklin Is Back!

Filed under: Pick of the Issue   Tagged: , , , ,

Because I’m so delighted to see that Franklin is back from her leave at long last, I’m awarding immediate Pick of the Isssue to her review this week of the Eddie Izzard show The Riches on FX. When the designer, the illustrator, and I were plotting this site’s redesign, we thought of the Pick of the Issue pig as Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web, just after his buttermilk bath, sweet-smelling, beautified, and ready for the fair. I think every appreciator of criticism that’s as painstakingly crafted and humanistic as it is achingly funny would agree that Franklin’s reviews are terrific and radiant, and I can attest to the humble part. This is really worth celebrating! N.F., welcome back from all your fans, and there are a lot of us.

Speaking of Wilbur, has anyone gotten to the new Charlotte’s Web movie yet? I was wary of the casting, but it’s getting fairly good reviews. I’ll be seeing it.


I actually saw the movie just after re-reading the book this Christmas and didn’t hold up well. It’s a fine well-made flick as far as it goes, but in a lot of ways it really overdoes the significance of the events in the book: it turns Wilbur’s story into something that somehow redeems the town from its malaise, and adds this whole thing about how nobody in the barn likes Charlotte because she’s ugly until Wilbur teaches us all not to judge by appearances blah blah blah. It also totally underplays something in the book that I found quite striking — namely, that Fern pretty much forgets about Wilbur once she discovers Henry Pusey, and can barely be bothered to celebrate Wilbur’s big victory at the fair.

Steve Buscemi is pretty awesome as the voice of Templeton, though.


This goes back to the ASME awards. You can
search from their web site all past year winners
by title of magazine. Perfect for Complete
New Yorker fans or other New Yorker obsessives.

Yes, welcome back, Nancy Franklin! :)

Buscemi as Templeton does sound worthwhile! You’re right, Fern is all about Henry and the Ferris wheel near the end. Her role is over, and it’s really Charlotte and Wilbur’s story, and the little flying baby spider children, at the end.

Andy would never have approved, I’m afraid. (Especially if there’s singing.) I just can’t see the movie, out of respect for my favorite writer.

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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree