EIFF: Stardust review

Our tired but happy film critics carry on cranking out the reviews - Neil Gaiman's Stardust is next on the agenda, and it sounds like Carl's writing his letter to Santa already

When I first heard Ricky Gervais talking about this movie on Jonathan Ross, he was just really exited to be working with Robert De Niro, and I was instantly hooked on going to see it as early as possible. And I did! It comes out here mid-October, and I’ve seen it 2 months in advance. Is it sad that I’m really chuffed with that? Anyway…

The movie opens, and it feels like everything is happening way too quickly. Summing up the first few minutes: a guy jumps over the wall into the other world, and runs to the mysterious and magical town where he has sex with a slave woman he falls for but cannot rescue. He then goes home, and nine months later, is followed by a baby boy named Tristan.

It’s a lot to happen in 2 minutes, but it does, and it is all leading up to what happens after it.

What does happen is a magical tale of Tristan trying to catch a falling star to try and capture the heart of the woman he loves, Victoria. What follows is a hugely epic tale, which takes Tristan across the whole of the magical land known as Stormhold, meeting witches, pirates and swashbuckling princes. A second storyline, to do with brothers killing each other for the throne, gets intertwined with the first and the film only gets better from there.

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When all is said and done, Stardust does what it sets out to do. It takes you on a huge journey, one that you wouldn’t have imagined, but Neil Gaiman would. The supporting cast to the relatively unknown Charlie Cox is one of great wonder. Let’s reel some names off for you: Peter O’Toole, Ian McKellen, David Kelly, David Walliams, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Adam Buxton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sarah Alexander, Robert De Niro, Dexter Fletcher, Rupert Everett and Mark Strong. Each and every single person in this movie does his or her part brilliant justice, meaning this movie never gets boring.

Stardust is a wonderfully set out movie. It is full of brilliantly funny moments, greatly exciting set pieces and spectacular visuals. The cast are superb and fill every moment with brilliant acting, funny anecdotes and heart-warming joy. Out of all of them, De Niro ends up on top, with the best character in the whole thing. He is a genius. There’s only one place the movie shoots itself in the foot: the release date.

This movie was released in America in early August, and will be released here mid-October. No part of the world will enjoy this movie at Christmas time. Stardust is so very obviously a Christmas release movie that I think Paramount are blind to release it at any other time. Not that I’m saying you couldn’t enjoy the movie in the autumn, far from it. But who out there hasn’t gone to the cinema at Christmastime to watch a family movie and feel a warm, cheesy glow when walking out of the cinema?

Anyway, to sum this up, Stardust is brilliant. It is a hugely grand and funny movie that will suit all the family. If I had my way, it would have been released worldwide on December 1st, but since I’m just a critic, no-one will care. Spectacular.

(but only one for Paramount)


5 out of 5