Stardust (2007)

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A young man enters a magical kingdom concealed within the wilds of Victorian England and stumbles upon a fallen star pursued by a centuries old witch intent on stealing her youth, beauty and everlasting life.

Stardust is based upon a graphic novel by Neil Gaiman and so features his usual offbeat mix of quirky characters and English eccentricities. Very much hoping to be a contemporary The Princess Bride, this post modern fairy tale lacks its incisive wit but is not without charms of its own. Clearly influenced by the Narnia adventures of C.S. Lewis, the magical kingdom is not entirely convincingly realised but the stellar cast of kooky characters – including Robert De Niro as a cross-dressing pirate captain, Michelle Pfeiffer as the wicked witch, Mark Strong as a ruthless crown prince and a host of British comic actors – deliver a fantasy with warmth and humour.

Claire Danes and Charlie Cox make an appealing and likeable couple and the script, although very episodic, has enough jokes, magic and swash buckling to consistently entertain.

6/10

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