Title – Stardust (2007)
Director – Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass)
Cast – Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Robert De Niro, Henry Cavill, Jason Flemyng
Plot – In the magical kingdom of Stormhold, English citizen Tristan Thorn (Cox) finds himself in a world he doesn’t understand, as the quest to find his mother leads him to discover a fallen star who has become a human in the form of Yvaine (Danes). The mismatched pair setting out on a perilous quest to make it home safe.
“Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?”
Review by Eddie on 09/07/2020
Available to stream on Netflix at the time of writing, now is the perfect time to revisit one of the 2000’s most underrated gems and the closest we’ve come to getting another Princess Bride since the fabled release of the beloved 1987 classic.
Not the type of film you would expect from the man responsible for Kick-Ass and the Kingsman series, Matthew Vaughan’s star-studded adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book is a family orientated affair (even if its themes and scenes mean its skewered to those a little older) that takes us on a whimsical and magical journey to the setting of Stormhold, where Claire Dane’s fallen star Yvaine finds herself in the company of Charlie Cox’s Tristan Thorn, an adventurous England native who has made the journey over “The Wall” in search of his birth mother.
Unable to entice the audience the studio would’ve desired for this $70 million dollar plus event picture, Stardust was well-received by critics, without being praised but its only in the years following its initial bout that appreciation for Vaughan’s constantly moving and energetic affair that Stardust has started to gain the attention it deserves as a great piece of fantasy film-making.
Loaded with an incredible cast, with supporting turns from Sienna Miller, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ricky Gervais, Mark Strong, Peter O’Toole, Henry Cavill and in one of his most enjoyable supporting turns Robert De Niro as lighting hunting pirate with a secret Captain Shakespeare, Stardust is clearly the product of a cast and crew that found much joy in the material at hand, material that provides audiences with the chance to see a frocked up De Niro dancing his way around a dressing room and Superman and Daredevil square off against one another to win the heart of the local village beauty.
There’s a lot of moving parts throughout the film, with Vaughan doing well to juggle the various strands and side-plots of the tale across a fairly brisk two hour runtime, with the films humor and and times wonder always close to the forefront but also never doing anything to detract from the films main heart and soul that is found in the friendship and to be expected romance between Yvaine and Tristan.
Nicely played out by Dannes and Cox, the two legitimately star-crossed lovers make for likable protagonists in a world they are both learning to understand and they make for great guides to us as we enjoy the whimsy, the whoopsie’s and the danger that abounds in Stormhold, a cinematic universe enthusiastically bought to life by a filmmaker that has managed to become one of the industry’s most consistently enjoyable storytellers.
Final Say –
It might not be perfect but Stardust is a film deserving to be found by more eager fans of fun and heartfelt fantasy. A consistently enjoyable experience, Stardust is one of the great hidden gems of the modern era and one of the best Neil Gaiman adaptations we’ve had.
4 goat innkeepers out of 5