Sunday, August 12, 2007

Review: Stardust

(Apologies for the link being to the book, not the movie. There's only one version of the movie, and 3 or 4 different editions of the book. It's very important to buy the correct edition, as the mass market paperback eliminates all of Charles Vess' drawings!)

Stardust is one of my favorite Gaiman books. It's a great book for reading out loud, with its lyrical choice of words and beautifully selected themes (and it's short, which is important: if you're going to read a book out loud, long books are a mistake). And when a book becomes a movie, it's natural to be nervous. Is the movie going to be a pale shadow of the book? Is it going to ruin the book? But when Neil Gaiman started posting pictures from the set of the movie to his blog, I knew that visually, at least, they got the book's look and feel down.

And indeed, I enjoyed the choice of actors and actresses, especially Claire Danes as Yvaine. The movie itself isn't a direct translation of the book, so if you've read the book going into the movie, you'll be surprised by several twists and turns where the movie departs. But that's a good thing: the changes were made to make a better movie, and the feel and the changes in direction make you feel like you are visiting the same world and the same characters, but in a parallel universe, a very pleasant and sometimes discomforting thing.

There is one false note in the movie, which is the conversation Yvaine has with Tristan the dormouse. But that's about it. The rest of the movie is pure fantasy goodness. Recommended even at the full price. Watch this in the theaters while you can.
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