On the far side of the wall of Wall, Tristan finds a magical fallen star, one that evil witches desparately want for themselves. That wouldn't be a problem if he had not fallen in love it. score

moviereview rates films from
1 (unwatchable) to 5 (unmissable)
Charlie Cox, Clare Danes, Michelle Pfieffer, Robert De Niro, Sienna Miller

Jane Goldman,
Matthew Vaughn

Matthew Vaughn


Rating / Running Time
PG / 127 minutes

Australian Release
September 2007

Official Site

(c) moviereview 2006-2007
ABN 72 775 390 361

In a cinema besotted with fantasy film, Stardust arrives as a breath of fresh cheer. It’s a bold, brash production that does for magic what Hairspray did for musicals: that is, put the tongue back in fun. Having inserted his firmly in cheek, director Matthew Vaughn embarks on a magical mystery tour that begins twenty years before it begins.

In an English village, law prevents anyone crossing the wall. It doesn’t stop a young man who encounters a beautiful, bewitched princess. Years pass and his son Tristan (a screen-grabbing Charlie Cox) inherits his spirit and also jumps the wall, this time to bring back a fallen star for his would-be girlfriend. But in this land of mystery, the star is called Yvaine and looks a lot like Clare Danes, igniting his smouldering passion. It does the same for three witches who seek immortality by consuming Yvaine’s heart and evil Lamia (a scene-stealing Michelle Pfieffer) is dispatched to retrieve the winsome star. On the other side of town, what’s left of the King’s sons squabble over his crown and, unfortunately for Yvaine, she also provides the key to their future. Then there’s the fey, lightening-collecting pirate Captain Shakespeare (a film-stealing Robert de Niro). Nothing about village life has prepared Tristan for what lays ahead.

While the broad narrative arc is immediately familiar – the righteous quest of a young man is governed by his heart – Vaughn populates his film with high-spirited verve that it proves suprisingly, and utterly, entertaining. There’s a hint of Gilliam that recalls Brazil with an airy touch. Consider Rupert Everett’s Prince Secundus, a royal bent out of shape who, with his declining siblings, function as a pallid cheer squad cum Greek chorus. And like Brazil, it’s de Niro who provides the show-stoppers for which Stardust will be remembered. By the time Tristan, Yvian and Lamia face-off in a blistering finale, you’ll be cheering from the stalls. This is everything that Pirates of the Caribbean wasn’t.