15 years of the Neil Gaiman adaptation

Charlie Cox and Claire Danes take center stage on the Stardust lineup.

Stardust turns 15 today.
Image: Supreme

When I sat down to check Adaptation of Matthew Vaughn of neil gaiman novel star dust, a family friend who was visiting asked me a question. “What are you watching?” “star dust.” “What’s that?” “This fantasy movie with Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro.” “I’ve never heard of it.” “Henry Cavill is also on it and fight Daredevil.” “ben affleck?”

I found the conversation amusing but also incredibly revealing. That this friend did not know star dust it was not an anomaly. The film was released 15 years ago today and at the time it certainly found its fans, but it never captured the world’s imagination the way it should have. And yet, I saw it when it was released and loved it. Was it an outlier? What was the problem with star dust?

Part of the problem is probably rush hour 3. The sequel to the Jackie Chan-Chris Tucker action-comedy premiered on the same day and was quickly beaten. star dust at the box office That was also the second week of the action-packed The Bourne Ultimatumthe third week for the long awaited the simpsons movieand in the following weeks, the generational comedy Very bad open, as well as Rob Zombie’s new version of Hallowe’en. Box office competition was fierce in August 2007, especially for films aimed at that younger audience. star dust was meant to. It fell out of the top 10 in a month. Internationally it fared significantly better, but that initial hit at the US box office didn’t do the film’s legacy any favors. Fewer eyes on the initial launch meant fewer marketing dollars and a relatively smooth arrival in the local market.

Pfeiffer sitting on the grass by the fire.

Michelle Pfeiffer on the hunt for a star.
Image: Supreme

Yet fifteen years later, no one talks about rush hour 3 plus. That is because star dust it has something that goes with a lot of other movies that they don’t have: it’s really good. Who better than Neil Gaiman to create a memorable and imaginative story? What better moment in a director’s career than his second film, which star dust it was for matthew vaughn, for a filmmaker to take a big step forward? And the cast, while led by constant stars of the era like Pfeiffer and De Niro, was packed with incredible talent from top to bottom: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox (the aforementioned Daredevil, of course), Mark Strong, Rupert Everett, Henry Cavill, Sienna Miller, Ricky Gervais, Ben Barnes, Peter O’Toole, Ian McKellen, really, the list goes on and on. That several of them have become even more famous since the film’s release only adds to its success.

As a result, although star dust It wasn’t a box office sensation; it was a critical success upon its release and remains as solid and entertaining a film as ever. In large part, that has to do with watching this amazing cast work their magic on this story. But it’s also the brilliance, the complexities, and the scope of the story itself. In his heart, star dust is the story of a young man in love named Tristan (Cox) who decides to cross a wall that separates his world from another to retrieve a fallen star for his girlfriend, Victoria (Miller). He finds the star, but it is actually a person named Yvaine (Danes) and as the two try to get back to Victoria, they are chased by the witch Lamia (Pfeiffer) who wants to literally eat the star, and various princes (Strong). and others) who need the star to become king of the kingdom. It sounds complicated, but Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman (who also did Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Classand more later star dust) put it very simply. The film then unfolds in a way that keeps everything cohesive and propulsive. There are no frills and the movie is better for it.

she is behind him with broken glass.

Tristan and Yvaine.
Image: Supreme

Along the way, Gaiman’s world fills with imagination; it’s full of elements like pirate captain Shakespeare (De Niro), who flies through the skies on his ship, sells lightning bolts, and hides his true charming self. The way people travel by candlelight. That flowers offer protection against magic. Or how, when each would-be king dies, he becomes a ghost that resembles death and goes on to become a Greek chorus of the events of the film. And just when it seems the film couldn’t get more adventurous or bizarre, Tristan and Yvaine’s blossoming love story becomes more prominent and poignant as both Cox and Danes electrify the screen with infectious joy and wonder. If it weren’t for a third act that drags on too long and some off-PC moments that haven’t aged well, it’d be hard to say anything bad about star dust.

So while the film didn’t immediately capture the imagination of moviegoing audiences 15 years ago, I was delighted to discover that star dust It is not a film beholden to time. It’s so funny, touching and well done that it’s sure to last and capture the imagination now and forever. just put, star dust it’s magic, and that it can still cast its spell after all this time is a testament to its quality.

star dust It is currently streaming on HBO Max.


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