Movies on our Side: Stardust
Stardust is a wonderful fun family film. And by family I mean every kind of family. The film starring Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, and Adam Fogerty, has everything. There's romance, comedy, fantasy, horror, adventure, action, and even coming out (cue record scratch).
The movie takes place in England in the late 19th century between the Village of Wall, known as such because of the large stone wall with a guarded gap in the middle of it, and the magical unseen world on the other side of the gap called Stormhold. At the heart of the story is Tristan (Charlie Cox) who is impossibly shy and in love with a girl who wants nothing to do with him until he promises to bring back a fallen star they both witness falling into the distance on the other side of the wall. After a comical defeat trying to cross the gap and then expressing his desire to go to the other side of the wall, Tristan's father explains of his origins. In an attempt to go directly to his mother on the other side of the wall with a “Babylon Candle” he is whisked directly to where the star has fallen. Much to his surprise in the middle of the crater is a beautiful young blond woman (Claire Danes) called Yvaine. The two then set out on their rather comical adventure that involves witches hungry for youth and everlasting life, lightning catching sky pirates, unicorns and princes vying for the throne of Stormhold.
The part of the movie that stood out for me as a gay man was the run-in with the sky pirates. Shakespeare (Robert De Niro), the capitain of the ship, is a rough, macho, rugged man, with an oddly out-of-place but comical NYC accent and has a bloody and dangerous reputation to uphold. After taking the two below and hearing of England on the other side of the wall he engages them in conversation in which he comes out, not exactly as gay per se, but it is implied by the rather effeminate stereotypes that we recognize in eachother and his drag closet where he spends a lot of his below-deck time alone. He befriends the two of them and protects them in a portion of their journey.
Later on, while his ship is docked, Prince Septimus who is searching for a magical topaz which will allow him to become king as the last living male heir to the throne takes his men and hijacks the ship. Septimus searches for the unawares Captain Shakespeare who is in his quarters below deck listening to classical music and trying on outfits in his closet. Meanwhile a fight ensues above deck and Septimus comes upon the unarmed and rather timid Shakespeare. Septimus beats Shakespear to within an inch of his life but before he can finish he's saved by his crew who have won the fight above. Beaten and ashamed he sits at his desk and awaits his punishment by his crew who he thought would not be accepting of him for what he was shocks him by saying that most of them already kind-of knew, but regardless loved him and accepted him the way he was because he was the same person they knew before.
It's a simple sub-plot that is actually important in the story to help it move further along. And for this I say this is a movie on our side.
AfterElton review here.
… even if I was going to hold the character against the movie I'd still say I'm glad it had the stroy the way it did for two reasons – 1) The captain was outed in the end and the whole crew of cut throat pirates said “We knew and you're still our captain.” They accepted him even though it was his biggest fear that he'd lose his reputation. 2) Several times in this storyline and two other running storylines in the movie the point was made, “Why would you want to be something you're not?”
And in the end Robert de Niro flirts with a cutie.
Plus! And here is something I really want to know about – Who was behind this movie? It was SOOOOO gay. Ian McKellan was the narrator. Ruperett Everett was one of the princes and had some very brief scenes. The pro gay storyline.
After the jump: Reactions from the “Right”
Focus on the Anus's “Plugged in” movie review
It winks at casual sex. It smiles compassionately at homosexual behavior (even as it stereotypes it). It deems death funny. And the afterlife funnier. Here, true love is the product of a weeklong adventure, not the process of a lifelong journey [Clearly not love-at-first sight people]. Stardust is a movie all about heart. But it has very little of its own … and even less morality.
At one point in the movie, our main characters are plucked from the sky by a floating dirigible/pirate sky ship. It is filled with prerequisite nasty men who merrily rip off treasure from the clouds. Harvested and bottled lightning bolts can be traded for anything at Ferdy the Fence's place. You don't even want to know what the pirate captain (Robert De Niro) does in his spare time. It's not what you think. Oh how it made me long for the wholesomeness of the charming Captain Davy Jones in “Pirates of the Caribbean”!
In the fantasy movie STARDUST, a young man and a beautiful, magical young maiden seek refuge from an evil witch in a hidden magical kingdom in rural England. STARDUST is predictable and uninspired, and, although it shows witchcraft to be evil, one of the good guys helping the hero and heroine turns out to be a cross-dressing homosexual.
STARDUST is a disappointing fantasy. The villain is an evil witch, which is a great antidote to the Harry Potter craze this season. The filmmakers ruin this positive aspect, however, by making one of the good guys be a homosexual who wears women’s clothing. Pre-marital heterosexual sex also plays a role in the movie's story.
STARDUST is predictable, and most of the main characters are uninspired. Although the movie makes it clear that witchcraft is evil, sexual immorality is not. Thus, both Tristan and his father commit fornication, and the fiercesome pirate captain turns out to be a cross-dressing homosexual. There goes the family audience!