Director – Gabriel Range (Death of a President, The Man Who Broke Britain)
Starring – Johnny Flynn (The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells, Emma), Marc Maron (Almost Famous, Joker), and Jena Malone (Donnie Darko, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 2/5
When I was in elementary school my brother introduced me to Black Sabbath, Motorhead, and a bunch of hair metal bands. He loved Poison, which I didn’t care for, but I soon founds myself obsessed with Cinderella and Ratt. When I was high school age I was a huge fan of Pantera, Black Label Society, and Lamb of God but some of my friends were more into classic rock. They were often listening to The Doors, Hendrix, CCR, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dylan, and so on.
This was when I was introduced to David Bowie. I’m not going to pretend like I’m a huge fan of his but I did dig his work and it was a difficult time for the music scene when he passed. A few weeks ago Shout Factory sent over a press release announcing a collaboration with IFC Films and the release of the Bowie biopic Stardust. This isn’t a film we would typically cover here at Horror Society but I really wanted to check it out. I want to thank Shout Factory and IFC for sending this one my way!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a young David Bowie (Flynn) who travels to America in order to tour and land his claim to fame. However, an issue with a work visa and Mercury Record’s lack of interest in him results in a lackluster trip in the states which eventually prompts Bowie to create his iconic persona Ziggy Stardust. **Spoiler Alert**
I was pretty excited to give this one a spin but the movie was not what I was expecting. In fact, this one really surprised me and I can’t say in a good way. The movie was a dialogue heavy drama that did not tell the story I was expecting to see. There was a few entertaining moments but those were few and far in between.
The acting in this one is great. Flynn delivers a great performance. He does sound like Bowie at times but his demeanor and mannerisms are not there. The supporting cast was great as well. Everyone delivers some solid performances and some really stood out. I thoroughly enjoyed the cast in this one.
The story for this one takes a look at what some would consider the most important time in Bowie’s life. However, the movie just paints him as a crybaby trying too hard to be like Warhol. If you ignore that part of the story you are still given long drawn out scenes that offer up very little historical significance about Bowie and the dialogue in these scenes are tough to swallow. I respect what they set out to do but the execution is just all wrong.
Finally, the film has a nice wardrobe that does fit with the era but a lot of the sets and locations don’t paint the era they were going for. Overall, Stardust is a bit of a let down. It doesn’t do the icon that is David Bowie justice. I want to recommend this one but I can’t. Skip it.