MirrorMask had great style, but gets an F for substance. There's a scene that includes one of the characters screaming, "I don't want to be a waiter!" for absolutely no reason. The laughter resulting from that pointless comment still wasn't enough to wake the audible snores behind me from a comatose audience member. It sometimes seems that there's a crowd of contrarians that only appreciate this sort self-indulgence. I feel that art is communication and that an artist should make some sort of genuine attempt to connect with an audience. I only felt irritated. I enjoy experimental filmmaking, but it doesn't have to create a disconnection with the audience in order to make a point. There are many ways to intrigue an audience, seduce them, invite them into your vision. Films like MirrorMask only invite those who had already chosen to willingly follow an artist for merely coloring outside of the lines. I guess my fundamental gripe is that there are better ways to paint outside of the lines that require more creativity. I found the storytelling in Mirrormask was beyond lazy and self-satisfying. Then Coraline came out. Audiences didn't receive that as well as I'd hoped, but it's a wild idea not too removed from the source material and the story structure is solid. The visuals...well, the blow away anything MirrorMask had to offer. I'm still pulling for it at the Globes and Oscars.