I really regret not having had time yet to actually read the book behind this most excellent movie, but I am sure I will get round to it eventually.
When a friend of mine (Timo, my main collaborator for internet weirdness on this blog) and me went to see it, I only knew that it was based on a novel by Neil Gaiman, so of course I went.
Actually, I had expected something slightly darker and more dirty and gritty but that did not lessen my immense enjoyment in the slightest.
Where should I start… There are so many great, cool, epic and mythic elements in this movie, I do not know where to begin. The whole concept of this fairy-world Stormhold existing behind the Wall at the village of the same name, the magic, the ghosts of the dead princes giving Waldorf-and-Stettler-esque comments to what is going on, the witches and the love story… Epic!
But, what is best: The Sky Pirates!
This rag-tag band of unwashed cut-throats led by a cross-dressing, gay, pacifist, Captain Shakespeare (absolutely fabulous: Robert De Niro). Their airship alone was worth the ticket and I returned a few days later to watch the movie again. The whole story behind the pirates is so steampunk. They prowl the skies, doing some illicit trade, catching lightning (I played the correspondig game on the official website for hours…) and having a whale of a time. Even better, despite his pacifism and abhorrence towards violence, the Captain is an expert swordsman and manages to train Tristan quite quickly.
And at the end, the pirates are good for two final laughs: Tristan greeting them from his throne and they all going “Arrrrhhh!” and the Captain flirting with Tristans former rival Humphrey (you could almost pitty poor Victoria, but only almost).
So, what else is there… Oh yes, the chases, the constant plotting and counter-plotting, the rampant magic and an absolutely adorable Yvaine (Claire Danes) who is a fallen star with some powers of her own (the tiny atom bomb…) and she delivers the most memorable quote of the movie:
„If you hurt my Tristan, I will turn into your personal Poltergeist.“
Also, how else could it be, Tristan is of course the heir to the throne, his mother is a princess, who gets reunited with his father… All the elements of a great and epic fairy tale in one movie. Oh, I could go on but I am running out of time for today (some stuff for the baby arrived that needs sorting).
Like all fairy tales (most, anyway), Stardust has a very happy ending and leaves you with a very happy feeling and a day just having become that little brighter, just because you watched it.
Oh, and Michelle Pfeiffer deserves special mention, too. Her depiction of Lamia… Uhhhh! A witch you really love to hate. Margaret Hamilton of The Wicket Witch of the West-fame still takes first price for most memorable witch-performance, but Michelle is a close second.