Neil Gaiman’s Favorite Recent Film is Probably What You Thought It’d Be

(And it opens this weekend.)

We got to hang out with Neil Gaiman a few months ago and talk Miracleman and Jack Kirby. In between shots, he offered an unsolicited plug for his favorite recent movie, one that he'd been shown in advance. He said we couldn't post this until the film came out in theaters – and that day has finally arrived. So here's Neil Gaiman's eloquent and thoughtful review of, you guessed it, Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson's The Hustle.

Kidding, kidding...

The above video was trimmed down a bit and leaves out a Tolkien plot point that might seem spoiler-ish. Here's his transcribed off-the-cuff review in full:

"Let me throw in a plug here. My favorite recent movie – which surprised me, because it was so much better, not only better than I expected, but it's that thing where you see a film and you go "Oh, it's better than it needed to be..." was the Tolkien biopic. It's really so beautiful. It's visually incredibly well-constructed. It's almost never heavy-handed. If you know Tolkien's work you're allowed to draw comparisons between the Black Country and Mordor or whatever, but nothing is ever thumped down... watching who this person was, a linguist who needs to build stories to go with his languages.

And yes, they put a love story in there, and yes, you have the awfulness of the trenches in World War I and the point where he's in a bloody pool surrounded by dead people, dead officers he doesn't even know, dead men – where he has Sam, his bat-man who is not leaving him, and you can go, "Okay, yes." You can build your own analogies here.

But it's actually done with intelligence and with grace – and that was a complete surprise to me, so hugely and unreservedly recommended."

Huge thanks to Neil Gaiman for taking the time to talk to us. Tolkien is in theaters this weekend.