The book is always better than the movie.
I know one and only one exception to this truism: Stardust.
The tagline of this charming fairy tale reads:
“This summer a star falls. The chase begins.”
The star fell, you see, when a dying king threw a magical pendant into the heavens and it knocked her out of the sky. Whichever one of his ruthless sons can find the pendant will become the next King of Stormhold, a magical realm separated from England by a stone wall.
Whoever finds the star will find the pendant.
Also after the star is the evil witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) who knows that cutting out the heart of a star and eating it will restore her youth and beauty.
And finally, we have Tristan (Charlie Cox), a young British shop boy who sees the star fall and promises to bring it back to prove his love to the very snotty and undeserving Victoria.
So the fantastical race is on, and it’s Tristan who finds the star first, surprised to discover not a lump of gray rock but a beautiful girl named Yvaine (Claire Danes).
The grand adventures begins—a tale filled with magic, swordfights, unicorns, spells, and of course, true love.
It follows the same basic plot as Neil Gaiman’s novel, but it manages to flesh out the characters and bring it all to life. It’s more vibrant and less serious than the novel, and the story is enhanced by the humorous touches.
And there’s a surprising array of small roles played by famous actors or those who would become so: Peter O’Toole, Sienna Miller, Henry Cavill, Robert De Niro, Ian McKellan, and Ricky Gervais.
I’m recommending a movie over a book.
No one is more shocked than I am.
This is part of my Movies I’m Grateful For series, running daily through the month of November.
Other films include: Splash | New Moon | The Lucky One | Thelma and Louise | Katy Perry: Part of Me | Crazy Rich Asians | Under the Tuscan Sun | Terminator 2 | Moulin Rouge! | How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days | Practical Magic | Schindler’s List | Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol |
Now we are in trouble. I have nothing good to say about this film. I hated every frame of it. I have a signed galley proof of this book which I’ve never opened because I detested the film so much. Goldman has went on to write such clonkers as Rebecca and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, but she set out her stall with this witless, insipid film. Worse that the Paddington films. Nul points. Nada.
Uh-oh! Good thing you didn’t read the book, I promise its worse!
Perhaps the witches put a spell on me to make me like it so much. And I have to say, this is one of the films I rewatched just to make sure I still loved it.
We can definitely find common ground in the fact that Rebecca was a clunker. I was so excited for that remake – I really thought a modern take on it was due. I hadn’t been so disappointed in a film in years
I know Kick Ass has fans, but I hated it, and I hate the way Goldman expects us all to be in thrall to casual misogyny. She gets all the best gigs, but I’ve never read or seen anything from her that worked.
I’m not great with wizards, so no LOTR and stuff….
I’ve not seen Kick Ass, I never thought I’d like it.
And Stardust would be much improved if they completely removed Robert de Niro’s character – that part hasn’t aged well and wasn’t great at the time. I’ve always thought it was completely out of place in the film.
I’m not a huge fantasy person – this film is the exception. I think it’s because it’s a big silly epic romance. I sort of feel like it’s a live action Disney princess film.
I watched LOTR and enjoyed them, but once was enough and I’ve forgotten most of what happened.
I’ll be noping this then.
I think for you, that is the correct answer! 🙂
A movie over a book?😱 I’ve never seen this film, and now that I know it is based on a Neil novel I am very intrigued. It sounds like I should see the film first…
If you read/watch them both, I’d love to know if you agree me. I have no idea what the “consensus” opnion is on Stardust. For all I know, I’m on an island alone in preferring the film to the book, and it is the only case I can think of where I feel this way.