Friday, January 9, 2009

Tinkerbell and all

I finally got around to (how many of my posts start with that phrase?) Stardust, the 2007 movie based on Neil Gaiman's novel. I expected a mildly pretty, entertaining fantasy film. Instead, I have to say I was completely charmed from beginning to end. It reminded me in an odd way of Moulin Rouge (that might send some people running), that is, a film with a lot of color, costume, humor, and special effects surrounding a core of very sentimental or very real feeling about true love, etc., which might nauseate you or suck you in. Consider me suckered.

You might be scratching your head trying to remember this movie. It got not quite enough publicity, since I think the studio was banking on the presence of Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Claire Danes to open it. Problem is, I don't think either of the latter two can open a movie at this point, and the presence of DeNiro in a fantasy film as a flying pirate mostly had people... scratching their heads. He was very funny (just shut your ears and ignore his total lack of even an attempt to do a different accent). Pfeiffer enjoyed swaggering about being evil, much like in Hairspray, and Danes was lovely, though her speeches tended to be rather bugeyed and overaccented. What happened to that lovely stillness she had in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet? And lastly, Charlie Cox did the hapless-to-heroic thing a lot better than anyone's done it lately. I wish I'd gone to see that darn Pinter double bill when I was in London in June; he was in it and I'd be curious to see his stage acting in a modern piece.

I definitely recommend this one. For the child at heart, as they say. Oh, and a Ricky Gervais appearance for those who want to satisfy the cynic at heart, as well.

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