Film Reviews


By • Aug 10th, 2007 •

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Simply divine fantasy. Pfeiffer casts a spell on it outshining the fallen star.

A star falls and Victoria (Sienna Miller) agrees to marry disadvantaged village boy Tristan (Charlie Cox) if he finds it for her. To do so, he has to go beyond his village of Wall to the mysterious kingdom of Stormhold. A wall separates the two and is guarded by a cranky old man (who reminded me of “willing hostage” Gebra Mikail, the guardian priest of the Ark of the Covenant, at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zionin Axum, Ethiopia). No one dares pass into the magical land. Tristan does get past the old man and finds Yvaine (Claire Danes), the fallen star. She’s grumpy, tough looking and, since injured in her fall, limps around in a gown. She’s no one’s idea of wishing-on-a-star. Yvaine does have long blond hair (that doesn’t hide her broad features and full mouth of teeth) and a neo-Madonna British accent.

Deliciously evil Lord Stormhold (Peter O’Toole) wants the star as well and sends out his last three living sons (accompanied by their four dead siblings) for the star. The dead brothers, having murdered each other, are stuck as ghosts following around their surviving siblings, momentarily led by Secundus (Rupert Everett). Whichever son captures Yvaine, wins her secret and the throne of Stormhold. These battling brothers are wonderfully dead characters.

And, then there’s ancient witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her two sister-witches. If they can find the star and eat her heart, they will all be young and beautiful again. They store up all the magic they have left and give it to Lamia to venture out in search of Yvaine. Problem is, the more stored magic Lamia uses, the more her beauty slips off her face. She’s deteriorating.

Along the way Tristan meets faux-pirate Captain Shakespeare (Robert De Niro), a rather unusual man commanding a flying ship. The Captain, while fierce in front of his unwashed men, really enjoys just being a girl.

But it is Pfeiffer who is spellbinding and will be everyone’s favorite iconic witch. You want the whole film to be about Lamia instead of Yvaine.

The director, Matthew Vaughn, previously known as Guy Ritchie’s producer and director of the incomprehensible LAYER CAKE (but it did star Daniel Craig), wrote the script with Jane Goldman based on Neil Gaiman’s novel. The entire production and CGI magic are wondrous and I have been telling everyone that this is the Potter fantasy adults should see. You will see STARDUST twice.

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