Hi everyone, Adam here! I wanted to give you a broad overview of my new series appearing on the blog, called “Adam’s Film Friday’s.” Each Friday I will post a new review on a film. There is no type of film I’m against trying to review, so if after reading some of my posts you think there is a film I’d enjoy or even one you’d like to hear about just use the form on the contact page and let me know.
Stardust, a modern fairy tale, is set during the 1800’s in a small English town called Wall. The story begins with Dunstan (Ben Barnes) journeying past a magical wall that surrounds the town into the realm known as Stormhold. (Stormhold is a world filled with witches, warlocks, and all things magical) There he finds a slave girl with whom he spends the night. Nine months later a boy is dropped off at Dunstan’s front door, his son Tristan. 18 years later, Tristan (Charlie Cox) has grown up into a local shop boy who vies for the heart of Victoria (Sienna Miller). One night while sharing champagne in the woods, Tristan and Victoria, see a shooting star. Victoria says if Tristan is able to bring the shooting star back to her before her birthday in a week, she will agree to marry him. Tristan makes it across the wall and begins his journey to find the star, which coincidently turns out to be a beautiful woman Yvaine (Claire Danes). At the same time Tristan is trying to bring the star back to Victoria, a witch named Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer), and a prince, Prince Septimus (Mark Strong) are also searching for her. Lamia needs the star’s heart for her and her sisters so they can be immortal, and Septimus needs the ruby that the star is wearing so he can take over as King of Stormhold. As they all go on their separate journeys, their stories connect and form what is one of the most entertaining fairy tales I have ever seen in film format since I was a kid.
I thought for the most part the cast fit their roles very well. A definite standout for me was Robert DeNiro as Captain Shakespeare, whose character is completely different from anything else I have ever seen him in. When I first heard he was in this film, I expected him to play the tough guy, but it definitely showed his versatility as an actor to play Captain Shakespeare. Captain Shakespeare appears to be a tough guy, but let’s just say he also has a soft side.
Another standout for me was Charlie Cox as the bumbling hero Tristan Thorne. He portrayed the character with the right amount of aloofness and heroic stature that made his character so likeable. Had he done only one of those two contrasting traits, he would have either looked like a condescending jack-ass or a moron. He was able to find the balance though and effectively play the character.
The weak link in the first half of the film for me was Claire Danes as the star Yvaine. Her performance got better as the film progressed, but her British accent was very weak in the beginning which made her scenes very awkward and uneven to watch. However by the end of the film she came into her own. (If anybody wants to see how good of an actress Claire Danes is, watch her in Baz Lurman’s version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. She is a perfect Juliet).
I think anyone from 9 to 99 would really like this “old school with a twist” fairy tale. The fantastic special effects, solid performances from some old Hollywood favorites/new up and comers, and a solid story made this an enjoyable film viewing experience. I leave you know with this question: Do you think the stars are watching you as you gaze up at them? After viewing this film you will constantly think of an answer to that question.
4 out of 5 Stars
Kim’s note: Stardust is based on the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman. For my review of the book click here