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One of the best films I’ve seen recently on DVD was Stardust.

It’s a truly magical comic fantasy adventure for all the family. Neil Gaiman’s fairy tale has been realised beautifully for the screen and features an all-star cast that goes all the way down into some of the smallest parts. The only one who jars for me is Ricky Gervais, but Mark Williamson as a goat turned into a man is a piece of genius, Mark Strong is a brooding and murderous prince, and it is a delight to see Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer having such fun playing against type. Claire Danes is an unconventional leading lady, but has that look of big-eyed wonder that wins you over as she did in Baz Luhrman’s marvellous Romeo + Juliet.

The story is an episodic fantasy quest that has laughs, both belly and more subtle chuckles, aplenty and some great running gags. There are great fights and there is also enough darkness and romance to suit everyone. The look of the film is sumptuous and fully realised in a way that the recent Pratchett adaptations for the telly could only long for from afar. A lovely, lovely film – for me it was even better than The Princess Bride, and that’s saying something!

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