Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dearest Nora

By: Alex "The Savant" Heisman

Dearest Nora,

Nearly every single tribute composed towards your magnificently giving life has emulated your comedic gift and been some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read. Forgive me then, in articulating a slightly more heartfelt, less witty piece. Certainly nothing against those who base their obituaries in humor, I’m sure you would be immensely proud, I just find it very hard to try to mimic your style when you were so far above the rest of us that anything less may just appear inadequate.

The pain and shock of losing you and the disappearance of your presence in the entertainment industry has still not yet settled in my being. I’ve come to realize that I took you for granted- I always expected another incredibly hilarious, yet deep, musing on the position of life from you every few years. You were, after all, the one who ultimately brought the very important question of “can a man and a woman truly be friends without sex getting in the way?” to the forefront.

You pushed through the pain of your own personal life to reflect and create some of the most delectably apt coverage on infidelity and divorce ever published in Heartburn. You made countless swoon as Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks were unconventionally brought closer together in Sleepless in Seattle. You created an unflinching and daring expose on whistle blowing in Silkwood. You afforded us a reason to not feel guilty about over-gorging ourselves after Julie & Julia.

Hell, you gave us one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard in my entire life: “Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on… Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

The question then remains- how do we ever begin to push through the pain of losing you?

I thank you for your wit. I thank you for your grace. I thank you for the three projects you and Meryl were involved with- Silkwood, Heartburn, and Julie & Julia. Although the Academy never awarded you a trophy through your three unsuccessful bids, they never truly needed to- you still more than proved your place in the hallowed pantheon of inspirational and genuine filmmakers. Your passing resembles a Peter Sellers, a Madeline Kahn, a Belushi or a Radner- humorous geniuses gone before their time that left a void that can never be filled.

To slightly alter Carrie Fisher’s immortal, repeated line from When Harry Met Sally… “You’re right, you’re right, you were always right”.

Say hi to the big guy for me.

From- one of your infinite and admiring fans

(Nora Ephron- 1941-2012)

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