Go see Stardust

I’ve returned from a preview screening of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust–tickets provided by the fabulous Livia Llewellyn. Since I got out of the theater, I’ve been wanting to go back. When was the last time that happened to me?

Princess Bride? Goya in Bordeaux? But since then… I can’t remember one.

I don’t want to gush too much, because part of the joy of the film is the discovery. The actors are all strong, particularly Charlie Cox as Tristan. Male ingénues are so hard to play and he is spot on perfect. Normally I link to trailers and what not, but don’t–try not to see a trailer before you go in to watch the film. And do go, tomorrow. Don’t wait. It’s not that there are enormous spoilers, but there are surprises and moments of wonderful ah-ha! waiting for you at every turn in Stardust, and yet it all makes sense and is inevitable. Oh, it’s just wonderful. Go.

I’ll see you there. Partly because I want to see it again and sink back into the world, and partly because I want this film to have a really strong opening weekend so that there will be more.

There’s a funny sort of symmetry for me about seeing this film while I’m making the Coraline puppet. The first time I performed in NYC, was with our production of Old Man Who Made Trees Blossom at Here Theater. The puppets are made out of paper–it’s a different technique than the one I’m using now, but still, it’s the first time I used washi paper on a puppet. One of the other performers loaned me a copy of the ARC (advanced review copy) of Stardust–and behold, here I was tonight at an advanced screening. Funny how things work out.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that large parts of the movie were filmed in Iceland. If you want to understand, really, why I want to move back…

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7 Responses

  1. strugglingwriter

    I’ll be going tonight, taking my wife out for our anniversary. I too want to go tonight so it has a big opening. I think Neil Gaiman said it best: “Stardust. It’s not a sequel to anything”.

  2. Maggie


    I’ve been telling my husband for weeks we’re going tonight.

    And I’m glad to talk to someone who has seen it previously. And I’m glad to hear you liked it so much.

    I know you are busy, but if I may, could I ask how detailed the fantasy violence is? (If you have time to respond, of course.) I have some friends with some young children who want to go tonight, and take some of the kids, but are not sure due to the rating and rationale behind the rating. (They’re not so worried about the sexual innuendo as much as about the fantasy violence.)

    I would go and tell them myself, but we all want this to have a strong opening night, so…

  3. Mary Robinette Kowal

    Strugglingwriter: Let me know what you think.

    Maggie, it’s going to depend on the kids and their parents’ comfort level. There’s no blood spilled on screen, but several moments where the action happens just out of camera view. I think it is tastefully handled and all totally necessary to the plot.

    As an example, there was one point where the entire audience went, “Ew!” and yet, we didn’t see the thing happen. One of the characters needed to read the entrails of a cat. In rapid cuts, you see the cat grabbed–on a cutting block–the knife moves and hits below camera range. It’s clear what they’ve done, but you never see it.

    Battles yes, but with magic for the most part. Certainly it’s less than Pirates. More than in Princess Bride, but in that range.

  4. Maggie

    Excellent, Mary. Thank you so much. I’m sure that this will be quite helpful in terms of my friends making their decision.

    Jeez, I may even end up taking Avi…

  5. strugglingwriter

    I really enjoyed Stardust. We left the theater with big smiles on our faces and have been talking about it since. I also can’t wait to see it again. Just a sweet movie. I thought everyone did a good job acting, especially Claire Danes and Charlie Cox.

    I read the book before watching the movie, and I thought they did a reasonable job with the changes they made. I wish they spent a bit more time in Wall and I wish they included the little guy that helped Tristran at the beginning of his journey.

    I’ll probably post more on my blog Sunday or Monday, but I just wanted to stop by and tell you I really liked the movie.

  6. Karindira

    There is spilled blood, but it’s blue. There are some goofy ghosts in states of post-mortem disarray. And there are the animals who get their entrails read–that would be the most horrific to kids, I believe.

    What a terrific movie.