(elves, orcs, dwarves). It's why the LOTR and comics speak (and spoke, and will continue speaking) to me so much - I'm a bit of a dreamer ("you may sayyyyy I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" - you're reading this after all). I'm also a sucker for a good love story - always have been. I've been a hopeless romantic my whole life, and a good love story is always high on my list. So let's see how well you know me, my Good and Fellow Readers while we dive into the comic-based film Stardust.
Neil Gaiman is a terrifc writer whose work is constantly being circled for adaptation. The problem is that often the world's (such as Stardust's) are so immersive and full that it would be difficult adapting them into one film. Look into the movie Coraline for another example of Gaiman's work.
Back before he was playing Matt Murdock to a tee, and fighting an entire array of bad guys in a single hallway, Charlie Cox played Tristan Thorne – the hero of today’s picture Stardust. He’s not the only star (pun delightfully intended) in this movie – it also features Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, and Ricky Gervais – but he does shine rather brightly, and gives the film the majority of its heart. I’ll touch on as much as I can in this movie, but there is so very much going on. It’s part of what gives the film its charm – it’s incredibly messy and ambitious, but very, very fun.
Stardust features a young man Tristan (Cox) who is smitten with a woman who could care less for him. He sees a fallen star one night as she is taking advantage of his generosity, and promises to return with it for her, in exchange for marriage. From there, he crosses The Wall (not the one in the upcoming Matt Damon movie Shannon) and is immersed in a world of magic – one with witches, thieves,
Pfeiffer plays a witch that is desperate to reach the Star and rip its heart out and eat it in order to restore her lost youth (RIGHT???? What????). She does so gleefully, stealing the scenes she is in - whether in beautiful young form or cackling witch form – it makes me think of a less crazy Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman. Ricky Gervais plays himself as much you would expect him to – he plays a sleazy salesman along the way of the journey. De Niro comes close to stealing the movie as a transvestite pirate in the sky whose crew indulges in allowing him his fancies and pretending they don’t see it. This could have come across as exploitive, or just in bad taste, but De Niro, in a role as against type as you could imagine, traverses this line as delicately as you would expect a man who
chorus. Often times, these characters are a riot, and continue to be an audience stand-in throughout the film, saying aloud what we are often thinking.
What saddens me the most throughout this terrific film is just how wooden Danes feels as you watch it. There are scenes when she is shining (in her star form she shines whenever she is happy or content), but you just don’t feel it coming across. One of the few moments in the movie that she seems genuinely happy is when she shares time with De Niro, but she never quite convinces me of the love
moments of dialogue seem directly lifted from Bride. There are moments of swashbuckling (none come close to the near-perfect Best Swordfight of All Time, but we’re setting the bar high), and long-haired villains. But where the influences really come through is in the humor both films show. They are both rambunctiously funny, and that’s where the charm and the heart come through.
There are so many things about Stardust I could continue to talk about. Sure, there are scenes that drag on a little long, and parts that a little less convincing (Pfeiffer’s magic is lacking in the luster you see from other effects in the movie), but it just adds to the overall charm. When we decided to watch Stardust, I looked forward to it, and that’s what a good movie is right?
I’m giving Stardust a shining (sorry) “A-“.
Check out more on this movie at IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"