It happens to be scientifically true that we all contain bits of the universe, bits of stardust, and I don’t care what people say of the film of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. I just watched it again, and it’s thoroughly charming, while it shows just how Gaiman masters all the classic elements of fantasy. The realm of his imagination is the psychic, magic kingdom of Stormhold, that lies beyond the ordinary town of ‘Wall’. Most especially when love comes into the frame, and is challenged by the judging, testing feminine, there’s a need to cross the hole in the wall, and deal with the inner archetypes that make our world, representing forces far more powerful than the everyday; the immortal archetypes that become the basis for fairy tale and storytelling. There lie transformations, witchcraft, unicorns, magic, immortality, evil and love, the search for manhood, and for the true ruler of the kingdom. There lie the tests that reveal true hearts, as the hero sets out in search of a falling star, and finds a beautiful, defenceless and pure woman. A woman who knows that in all the wars, lies, hates, betrayals, sorrows and evils of mankind, what is most beautiful is real human love. A woman who glows like the immortal star she is, and all the more brightly when united with the strong, loving masculine, because a star cannot really shine with a broken heart! One who may be the defenceless grail in the quest, surrounded by the competing forces of good and evil, but who becomes both active and protective, so the ultimate force of light, that always drives out the dark, and the life denying. Gaiman lost the love of an American editor, and came back, so it’s easy for Phoenix to read too much into his story, real and fictional, but he certainly knows what he’s doing, and makes the magic and mystery of the stars, the full connection of inner and outer worlds, shine even brighter.

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