Stardust settles over the viewer like a twinkly cloak. The film, which captures the magic and vision of author Neil Gaiman’s fantasy graphic fable, is a transportive journey into a world of true enchantment, which fans of the Harry Potter books will enjoy as well as will adults looking for the perfect date movie. The tale is a not-so-simple love story and adventure, set in 19th century England—and an alternate universe of witches, spells and stars that turn human—and hold the key to eternal life.
Young Tristan (played with wide-eyed vigor by Charlie Cox) vows to retrieve a fallen star for the most beautiful girl in the village, the shallow Victoria (Sienna Miller), and in his quest, finds his true love—in a true "meet-cute" moment (by Babylon-candle-speeding into the just-crashed human incarnation of the star, Claire Danes). Much of the film involves the duo’s journey back home—though home for Tristan is his village, and home for the celestial Yvaine is, of course, in the heavens. There are villains, notably Michelle Pfeiffer as the vain witch who seeks the fountain of youth a fallen star can give, and the seven venal sons of the dying king of the mythical realm, backstabbing, grasping, and hilarious—even in death as a ghostly Greek chorus.
While the sparks of love between Tristan and Yvaine are resonant and touching, Stardust truly succeeds as a brilliant fantasy yarn—and as a comedy with more than its share of belly laughs. Much of the humor belongs to Robert De Niro, who plays a notoriously wicked air pirate, who is secretly a bit light in his swashbucklers. Ricky Gervais has a small but memorable role essentially channeling his character from Extras, including his catchphrase, "Are you having a laugh?!" The special effects are all that any fan of Gaiman would wish for. Catch a bit of Stardust and you’ll feel enchanted for a good long while. —A.T. Hurley
About Stardust (2007)
Starring: Ian McKellen, Spencer Wilding, Jason Flemyng, Michelle Pfeiffer, Philip Harvey, Robert De Niro, Lasco Atkins, Peter O'Toole, Henry Cavill, Geoff Bell, Ben Barnes, Dexter Fletcher, Ricky Gervais, David Kelly, Claire Danes, Melanie Hill, Sienna Miller, Grant Burgin, Mark Williams, Terry Murphy, Mark Strong, Adam Fogerty, Mark Heap, Nathaniel Parker, Struan Rodger, Rupert Everett, David Walliams, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Alastair MacIntosh, Adam Buxton
Director: Matthew Vaughn