I knew I wanted to watch this film the moment I heard Claire Danes was in it. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time, since she played broody and conflicted teen Angela Chase on My So Called Life and through my obsession with Leonardo DiCaprio as he played opposite her in Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet. I’ve always enjoyed the very earthy, natural way about her, as though she could be my next door neighbor, or a friend from school. So approachable and human.
Which is why I was startled to learn she plays a star. Like, an actual star that falls from the sky. That explains the blonde hair, I thought. I wasn’t expected to be sold so completely, not just on her acting, but on the story as a whole.
Stardust is magical in that it’s a perfectly whole, well envisioned world. There is the small rural English town, appropriately called Wall, where people live a rather ordinary life, except for one thing: they are not allowed past the wall. This stone wall seperates their world from a world full of magic.
Tristan, played by Charlie Cox, is endearing and adorable as the leading man, looking to retrieve a fallen star for the most beautiful woman in town. But he finds so much more than he bargains for because this star, is now a human woman, Yvaine, who is looking for a way back home.
Of course, any good story must be complicated by several outside factors. Michelle Pfeiffer is a witch who is hysterically obsessed about aging and desperate to capture Yvaine, who can provide youth and eternity. And the seven sons of the dying king, all trying to kill each other first, so that one can take the throne. It really is one hearty laugh after another, and all well placed. None of it seems gratuitious. I mean, Robert DeNiro as the air pirate? So brilliantly cast.
The love story progresses at a beautiful and enchanting pace, and when we start to understand what makes Yvaine glow, it kind of brings a glow to our own hearts.
Overall, I loved the world Stardust was set in and it’s a movie I have wanted to watch again, since I last saw it. It also sparked my interest in the book it was based on by Neil Gaiman, which is a great testament to the movie’s charm. After looking it up on Amazon and reading the first few pages, I’ve already put it at the top of my ‘to be read’ pile. I love his use of old language and the very authentic fairytale feel. I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
I give this movie a loving: A+