Stars and Garters

I’m not really that sure how well Stardust did with the general public. The IMDb page gives it a high user rating, but I’m guessing people who are lukewarm toward it didn’t bother voting. Also, it looks like it didn’t do especially well at the box office, but unfortunately that’s pretty typical for fantasy films these days. Well, that’s not entirely true, but it’s mostly action-fantasy that fills the seats. Anyway, I’d read the book and liked it pretty well, but nothing about it really stood out for me. The movie, however, really worked for me. It was quite faithful to the book, but a more streamlined and easier to follow. Strangely, while books are often better at really getting into the characters’ heads, this was a case where it was kind of the opposite. There was more of a sense of how Tristan (Tristran in the book) and Yvaine fell in love with each other, for instance. But enough of the book/movie comparisons. This was a good movie in its own right, with enjoyable performances and interesting visuals. It’s the sort of fantasy film that I wish would come along more often, focusing more on the characters than on epic action.

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8 Responses to Stars and Garters

  1. Redhead says:

    I love Neil Gaiman. to me, that man can do no wrong. But I enjoyed the movie version of Stardust more than the book. it just worked.

  2. I really enjoyed this movie too. I haven’t read the book, but that’s a common thing I heard– that the movie somehow works better. I think it’s a movie that IS well-loved by the people who have SEEN it, just not too many people bothered to see it…!

  3. Tracie says:

    I haven’t read the book, but I really loved this movie.

  4. vilajunkie says:

    I read the book back when I was 16/17, but it was years before that when he and Charles Vess (a comics artist whose work is more like watercolor illustrations) collaborated on the story as a graphic novel. That I haven’t read yet, but I like everything Vess contributed on for the Sandman stories. I actually got my copy of the novel autographed by Gaiman when he came to Chicago for a book fair when I was in college. The cover is one of those ones where there’s a hole cut out of the front with a painting on a second cover underneath poking through (like the Wicked books). Sadly, when I was stuffing another book into the bookshelf next to it, the front cover ripped along the opening and now I have a signed book with a torn cover. :(

    Anyway, I saw the movie on DVD, and I liked it a lot, but I missed the characters they took out and I thought the ending was more…Hollywood than the book ending. Which I guess is OK for most people, since in the book Lilith and her sisters were defeated in an anticlimatic way. Tristan’s girlfriend from Wall had actually married a much older man named Mr. Monday (rather than a “jock” of the same age) during the time that Tristan was traveling through Faerie, so there wasn’t really a scene where Tristan told off the other suitor.

    • Nathan says:

      The version I read was illustrated by Vess and in the Graphic Novel section at the library, but it wasn’t really a graphic novel, because it was still told in narrative rather than comic format. I’m not sure whether there was an actual graphic novel of the book.

      I agree that the change in Victoria’s boyfriend wasn’t such a good idea. I don’t recall any indication that Mr. Monday was a jerk in the way that Humphrey was, so this redeemed Victoria for me. The movie’s Victoria appears to just be another clichéd ditzy popular girl who likes hateful guys. I guess they changed the way Lilith was defeated to make it more visually interesting, but it did seem a little tacked on to me.

  5. Charles Vess says:

    Stardust was never a graphic novel. However the illustrated version (with my 175 paintings) is often miss-described as such because it was published by a mainstream comic book publisher (DC Comics) and first released in a serialized format of four 48 page issues and then in hardcover, paperback and finally in a standard trade paperback edition.

    In the illustrated book, my images often took the place of text descriptions of characters and settings and those same visual portraits were not, to my understanding, replaced with text equivalents in the prose novel.


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