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Stardust: A Grand Adventure

"This is the story of how Tristan becomes a man... To achieve it, he must win the heart of his one true love." From the beginning of Stardust, there is a distinct waft of The Princess Bride. The warm, old-man voice (Ian McKellan, of course) narrating the tale like a grandfather telling a bedtime story, the fantastical adventure dotted with romance and humor, and even the echoing words "his one true love" made me feel nostalgic for that magical love story of my youth.

As it happens, Stardust is a perfectly adequate Princess Bride-style tale, a bright and enthralling adventure with plenty of danger, magic and love. In the story, the aforementioned Tristan (played by the outrageously attractive Charlie Cox) is a lovestruck young man tasked with the challenge of bringing back a fallen star for the petulant, conceited object of his affections, Victoria (Sienna Miller). He meets the star, a luminescent woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes) who has landed near Tristan's sleepy village, and he determines to bring her to Victoria as proof of his adoration. That's just the tip of this fantasy iceberg, though, so

Meanwhile, there are others in hot pursuit of the fallen star. Lamia is (Michelle Pfeiffer) a cruel, vain witch who needs Yvaine's heart to remain young and beautiful. At the same time, the three living sons of Lord Stormhold (Peter O'Toole) seek out Yvaine in their competition to take over the throne. Together Tristan and Yvaine make their journey back to Victoria, with their followers close on their trail. They run into a supposedly cruel pirate captain (Robert DeNiro) who turns out to be quite a dandy, and a shady merchant (Ricky Gervais). During the scenes with the Lord Stormhold's living sons they are joined by the ghosts of their dead brothers, providing comedic relief in the form of a kind of haunting Greek chorus. In the end, Tristan must reexamine what it means to win the heart of his "one true love."

Of course, Stardust has some advantage over The Princess Bride when it comes to special effects helping to prop up such a fairy-tale land. The mystical world brings us candy-bright colors and video game visuals to breathlessly sweep us up in this adventure. Lamia looks at times like a statuesque testament to youth and beauty, all soft, golden hair and glittering eyes, and at other times like she was dug up from a deep grave. The performances are satisfying enough, though DeNiro makes for a very odd gay man. He seems like a straight person making fun of gay people by doing an extreme impression of what he assumes a gay man is like. I could have watched Charlie Cox for several more hours, however, so adorable are those soft brown eyes and that sweet manner.

The one annoying thing was a particular aspect of the ending, which I won't reveal here. It was as though everything could have been wrapped up quite nicely from the start if they'd just done one simple thing. It struck me as baffling, cheesy and ridiculous. I was somewhat surprised by it as well, having enjoyed the movie up until that point. Regardless of the ending, though, the movie is a splendid way to spend a couple hours in the starry, sparkly otherworld of Tristan and Yvaine.

Photos courtesy of Paramount

Join The Conversation
nakitabanana27 nakitabanana27 9 years
i saw it and loved it..i thought it was too cute when claire danes got all "glowy" (when you see it you'll know what I mean) and deniro was hilarious, even if he was an "odd" gay...not to mention charlie cox - so adorable.
esk4 esk4 9 years
you know I just saw it and I really don't see the connections to the princess bride. Other than it being a very fresh story, P.B. was about fighting for true love and true love conquers all, this was more of a story about learning what real love was, and falling in love.
Beatris22Veid Beatris22Veid 9 years
I love this movie! Absoulutley!
Darky-Locs Darky-Locs 9 years
It was better than what I expected...
purrtykitty purrtykitty 9 years
i saw this movie TWICE already!!! i thought it was so good - even better the second time around. it's so hard to describe exactly what this movie is, fantasy-fairy tale, maybe. all i know is that this has made my list of favorite movies. everyone MUST see this movie!!!
Pink_Lipstick Pink_Lipstick 9 years
I definitely want to see this movie! It looks so different from what's been in theaters lately.
potterlove potterlove 9 years
I've heard nothing but "You must see this movie!" from my girlfriends (wow, chick-flick message on the guys?). I really have to see it then, before I go back to school! Ahhh! Tom or monday then! The Last Two Days of Freedom!
mizlynz mizlynz 9 years
I really want to see this.
butterflyforaday butterflyforaday 9 years
I saw this last night, and I have red the book prior to seeing the movie. I absolutely loooved the movie (not as much as I loved the book). But the movie was fantastic! 4 stars.
stefsprl stefsprl 9 years
I'm glad I read this, because when I saw the preview I wasn't sure that it wasn't something that I would like, but after reading this review and a couple of others, I think I'm going to give it a chance. I love The Princess Bride, so I'll probably love this too!
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
phew! i'm glad you liked it (mostly, apart from the ending!)...looking forward to seeing something magical. :)
figurine figurine 9 years
Yeah, I'm not too fond of this kind of stuff either. The Princess Bride did nothing for me. I'll watch this one simply because I like the cast.
radarkitty radarkitty 9 years
I am totally confused by this movie. But I'm not really into the fantasy/science fiction stuff. I HATE Star Wars. Odd I know.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
WHat was it about the ending???? I just got back from it and Loved it! Robert DeNiro was AWESOME haha! I'm Really curious what you didn't like about the ending! Can you send another post or something??
Random2 Random2 9 years
I can't wait to see this! Monday seems to long away. :( Reviews be darned, some of the best movies started with horrible reviews.
acrylicana acrylicana 9 years
I am SO dying to see this! :D Neil Gaiman is such a fab writer, that anything associated with him makes me dance like a monkey. OOK OOK OOK
Padraigin Padraigin 9 years
I adore Neil Gaiman - both the author and the man (who is a friend, actually). I was pleased with the film rendition of "Stardust" and actually thought it did the book justice. Michelle Pfeiffer was phenomenal and Claire Danes (who I generally don't care for) actually did a good job as Yvaine.
Sasorisa Sasorisa 9 years
I saw this movie already and thought it to be cute and delightful but there was something missing overall in the movie. It's been a while since I saw this so I can't remember what it was exactly that was missing... perhaps the fact that they jumped head first into the story? But I do recommend it!
c0rkie c0rkie 9 years
i saw the previews and i'm excited to see what this film has instore!
raptinrainbows raptinrainbows 9 years
actually, no matter the reviews, i'll see it just to see michelle pfeiffer back on the big screen. i'll probably see hairspray for the same reason.
raptinrainbows raptinrainbows 9 years
i will read just about anything by neil gaiman. i love his writing. if you haven't read his sandman series, then you should definitely check it out! i enjoyed stardust, but need to refresh my memory before seeing the movie. btw, i've heard that it's getting mixed reviews? does anyone know exactly what's being said about it?
ReverendZelda ReverendZelda 9 years
I can't wait! I almost skipped work to see this one.
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
As much as I can't stand Claire Danes, I'm going to see this anyway. I do love me some Princess Bride, even if I'm still pissed about the way the book ended.
miss-britt miss-britt 9 years
i can not wait to see this. but none of my friends what to see it :(
bringmeup bringmeup 9 years
I am so absolutely thrilled about this movie!!!
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