I first read Stardust as the DC Comics illustrated novel that came out in four parts. It was written by Neil Gaiman, who was and pretty much still is God in my book, and illustrated by Charles Vess, who creates very clean, beautiful artwork.
Later, Stardust was released as a novel, without the art, and I read that too.
When I heard that Stardust would be a movie, I was happy but scared. You know, the old "Hollywood consistently fucks up properties it gets its greedy little hands on; changing this, adding that, etc", thing.
Well, the movie is a little different, but I would say that for the most part, Hollywood got it right.
Stardust tells the story of a young man who promises the girl of his dreams a fallen star, even though to find it, he’d have to enter a magical world just beyond an opening in the town’s wall. Along the way, all kinds of fantastical weirdness ensues, not the least of which, is that a trio of witches, led by the still gloriously glamorous Michelle Pfeiffer wants the star for their own evil reasons! There are also a very combative bunch of brothers, competing heirs to the throne, determined to get their hands on something the star possesses…
Charlie Cox plays Tristan, our hero, and I’ve never heard of him before, but I think he did a great job. He came across as a very likable guy, and had a nice chemistry with our leading lady, played very nicely by Claire Danes. Ms Danes is rarely on my frontal lobe, but then I see her and she smiles and I’m all like, “whoa!”. Her smile is almost up there with Jennifer Garner, but not exactly. I mean, come on, Ms Garner’s smile can melt even the coldest heart…
But I digress…
As I mentioned, Michelle Pfeiffer plays a witch intent on finding the fallen star, and she does a really great job here. Yeah, she looks hideous with the make up, but she looks beautiful otherwise, and is really good at being truly wicked!
Mark Strong plays the most prominent of the bickering brothers, and while he is a newcomer to me, he too did a great job. Hopefully this movie will bring bigger and better things for him and for Charlie Cox.
Stardust was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who at one time was going to direct X-MEN III but dropped out for personal reasons. Turns out his wife, original supermodel Claudia Schiffer read and loved Stardust and suggested he do the movie. Nice!
Jane Goldman had the unenviable task of adapting the screenplay, and I think despite some changes, and a slightly less dark feel overall, she did a great job.
Neil Gaiman himself served as a producer on the movie, and is apparently very pleased with the results.
Hey, if he’s happy with it, who are we to argue?