Monday, September 3, 2007


"A star can't shine with a broken heart." Thanks Claire Danes. That line right there sums up the movie. Or perhaps it's the tears in the corner of her eye every shot, or her full bodied over-acting that sum up the movie. From start to the "Train" inspired closing credits music, the movie disappointed. It was stuck somewhere in the realm between epic fantasy, and love story. The result is kind of a long rambling adventure tale.

The plot, in trying to simplify it as much as possible, follows Tristan (Charlie Cox) as he tries to find a fallen star to bring back to the woman he's in love with (Sienna Miller). This quest takes over a wall into a kingdom of mythology. Meanwhile, in this magical kingdom, a king (Peter O'Toole) is dying, and in order to determine which of his sons is going to take over the throne, he throws his necklace out the window, and the first son to return it is the new king. Turns out the necklace is what knocked the star out of the sky, so the brothers (Mark Strong, Mark Heap) are also after the star. Finally, a group of witches (Michelle Pfeiffer, Sarah Alexander, and Joanna Scanlan) in a quest for eternal beauty are also after the star. Oh, did I mention it's not just a star, but it's Claire Danes?

The movie filled with a colorful cast of characters, whom all three groups at different times come into contact with. Ricky Gervais plays a swindling trader in my favorite role. Robert De Niro is Captain Shakespeare, a hilariously flamboyant pirate captain, except it was almost embarrassing watching one of the greatest actors of all time prance around in a dress (though I'm sure it was fun). Is this what happens when Travis Bickle ages? Kate Magowan plays Una, a slave girl who also happens to be Tristan's mother. That's a whole additional side-plot there.

I'm not saying this was an awful movie, it just didn't meet my expectations. I like my vast, visually stunning movies to be just that- vast and visually stunning (maybe a little inspirational as well). Whereas I like my love stories to simple, almost a microcosm all until itself (see my reviews of "Once" and "Paris Je'taime"). Stardust though is was indeed visually stunning and massive in scope, the love story just didn't work for me. Maybe I just didn't feel the chemistry between them. If you just look at it as an adventure/traveling film, you may enjoy it.


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