Tuesday, May 10, 2011


"Victoria, for your hand in marriage, I'd cross oceans or continents. I would go to the gold fields of San Francisco and bring you back your weight in gold. I'd go to Africa and bring you back a diamond as big as your fist. Or I'd go to the Arctic and I'd slaughter a polar bear and bring you back its head."

Title: Stardust

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Publishing Company: Paramount Pictures

Copyright: 2007

Plot Summary: Stardust begins in the village of Wall, its namesake which divides England and the magical kingdom of Stormhold, and a young man named Dunstan Thorn. Dunstan escapes through the Wall and meets a beautiful, leashed woman at a bizarre marketplace. They sleep together, and nine months later, Dunstan, having returned to England receives a baby named Tristan. Eighteen years later, Tristan is also a young man who attempts to win the heart of his true love Victoria against the elegant Humphrey. In Stormhold, the ailing King pits his sons against each other in the race to return light to a ruby pendant which only responds to royal blood. The ruby flies into the night sky and knocks a star out of orbit. Seeing the star fall, Tristan vows to fetch it in return for Victoria's hand in marriage. Also seeing the star fall, a trio of aging witches yearn for eternal youth and also go on the hunt for the star. When the dust settles, the star turns out to be a beautiful young woman who stares at the pendant that knocked her out of the sky. As Tristan crosses the Wall, all Stormhold powers converge on the fallen star's whereabouts.

Critical Evaluation: Stardust is a dark and twisted fairy tale which for readers of Neil Gaiman's published works, would not be a surprise. The overall tone of the movie is dark and yet humorous, in which playful music blends with horrific actions done by the characters on screen. The dialog within the movie is witty and allows the viewers to get to know the characters. Tristan Thorn as the protagonist is a rather sympathetic and entertaining character despite his bumbling beginnings. He is a hardworking young man whose earnest love for Victoria shows with his every action despite her being unworthy of such efforts. Yvaine, the fallen star, is a rather unsympathetic character but it is rather understandable, having been knocked out of orbit by a magical pendant. The plot of the film is well-paced with the Stormhold royalty and the witches hunting the fallen star with their lives at stake contrasted with Tristan and Yvaine walking by foot looking for the Wall.

Viewer's Annotation: Tristan Thorne is a normal English boy who crosses a gap in the Wall, into the magical kingdom of Stormhold, to retrieve a falling star in order for his love's hand in marriage. Little does he know what forces of darkness he will face as witches and Stormhold royalty also seek the star.

Information About the Director: Matthew Vaughn is an English born director and producer. He is best known for directing the movies Layer Cake and Kick-Ass as well as the upcoming newest installment in the X-Men universe, X-Men: First Class.
As a producer, Vaughn worked on the famous Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels as well as Snatch.

Genre: Fantasy; Romance; Coming-of-age

Curriculum Ties N/A

Booktalking Ideas:
  • How is Tristan Thorn an endearing and respectable hero, despite his rather bumbling beginnings as a humble English shop-boy? How could average teenage viewers relate to his attempts at happiness?
Viewing Level: 15+

Challenge Issues N/A

Why This Movie?: Hugo Award Winner

Reference Page:
Vaughn, M (Producer and Director). (2007). Stardust [Motion picture]. USA: Paramount Pictures.

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