Stardust

Paramount Pictures

Directed by Matthew Vaughn/Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Michael Dreyer, Neil Gaiman, & Matthew Vaughn/Screenplay by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn/Music by Ilan Eshkeri/Narrated by Ian McKellen/Starring Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Robert De Niro & Michelle Pfeiffer/Based on the book by Neil Gaiman

Once upon a time, there was a Wall dividing a small, quiet village on one side from the magical kingdom of Stormhold on the other. Completely unaware of his own origins in Stormhold, young Tristan Thorn forces his way across the Wall to retrieve a fallen star to bring to his “love” and prove himself worthy of her. Naturally, upon reaching the star, he finds himself with a bit more than he bargained for–the star is actually a young woman by the name of Yvaine, the country is in turmoil as the deceased king’s sons strive for the throne, a trio of ancient witches seek Yvaine’s heart, and generally everything seems set against Tristan’s getting safely back home with the star. Of course, as time goes by and he experiences more of the world beyond his village, it becomes questionable whether he could be content with success. . . .

The novel Stardust was the first Neil Gaiman book I ever read–and the first glimpse of how much I would love his writing. I admit, I was a bit nervous about watching the movie adaptation, but I was actually quite favorably impressed. Although the movie is certainly lighter in tone than the book–more prone to humorous moments and such–I think it preserves the essence and storyline well. The characters are well played and the world well imagined and beautifully executed. The balance of wondrous fantasy, dark adventure, unexpected romance, and odd humor is deftly maintained throughout. And the ending is just as unexpected yet perfectly fitting–largely because all the important details that lead up to it are retained in the movie. So, for those who enjoy a good fantasy adventure/romance movie with a heavy dose of humor, I would definitely recommend Stardust (and of course, check out the book as well; it’s fantastic!).

Note: Do be aware, Stardust is PG13 and includes some crude humor and such. I think it’s totally appropriate for teen and up audience, though.

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