Saturday, April 4, 2009

Movie Journal: Stardust

There's only so much to say about Stardust, and that's mainly that it is a charming film that succeeds in parts but ultimately fails where it really counts. Sound familiar? I used the same words in my review of Indy 4, though I assure you that Stardust is in many ways the better movie.

Why do I say this? Because, again, it's got a lot of charm. The majority of the time characters come across really well and there are more than a few fantastic scenes. However, to go into any detail concerning the first act and a half of the film would be to destroy it for the reader. The fact is that Stardust sets up the story almost perfectly and then fails to deliver.

It's hard to say exactly what doomed the latter half of the film. I have a few hunches, one being the casting choice of Claire Danes as the ethereal and immortal Yvaine. Claire Danes just doesn't do ethereal and immortal, if you know what I mean. She and the main character were a terrible pairing, and the least charming aspect of the movie. As a result it was really hard to be engaged by the events between them. I had initially thought that Danes had been a weird casting choice, but also that there must be something I missed and that the director would make it work. Not the case. In fact, every time I saw Danes I was ripped right out of the experience because she just didn't belong. This was not a good moment for an actress of her caliber, partly because it may be that she was carefully cast but just didn't do a very good job.

It's terribly sad, because Stardust is a very unique and ingenuity-infused film, and with a few tweaks it could have been truly great.

6 out of 10

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