Stardust is a truly enchanting fairy tale. Director Matthew Vaughn (LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS) takes his experience with credible crime capers and applies it to the fantasy genre in this charming but not too precious adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel. The many threads of the story intertwine seamlessly, unfolding at an unforced pace that complements the movie's magical special effects.
Charlie Cox (CASANOVA) stars as Tristan, a somewhat bumbling shopkeeper’s assistant in the sleepy English village of Wall, so named for the stone barrier that separates it from the magical realm of Stormhold. Tristan is in love with the beautiful, dismissive Victoria (Sienna Miller), who much prefers her other suitor, Humphrey (Henry Cavill), since he has travelled all the way to Ipswich to buy her an engagement ring.
Tristan, in a last-ditch effort to win Victoria's affections, offers to bring her a fallen star they've just seen, and she agrees to marry him if he can deliver. Unbeknownst to Tristan, he is the product of his father's (Nathaniel Parker) sole excursion to Stormhold, where he had a tryst with a mysterious slave girl (Kate Magowan) who said she was a princess. As Tristan retraces his father’s steps he discovers that the 'star' is actually a beautiful young woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes).
A trio of witches, led by a delightfully wicked Michelle Pfeiffer, wants to capture Yvaine to cut out her heart and gain eternal youth, while the three remaining sons of the recently deceased king (Peter O'Toole) compete with one another to find the gem Yvaine wears around her neck.
Stardust has special effects that never outshine the performances and a sweet story peppered with hints of Gaiman's dark sensibility.
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A superb movie. The visuals are breathtaking (and the blue-ray helps to enhance the experience), and the story is very good, with lots of twists - Neil Gaiman is a great storyteller. Add Robert DeNiro at his best and you have a must see movie. In a word - charming.