Laura's Star

Laura's Star


Reviewed by: Stephanie Wolfe Murray

Take a beautifully illustrated children's book, transpose it to film, and there you have it, come to life.

Laura has just moved house with her family (mother, father and toddler brother) from the country to the city. She's in a sulk. The apple tree is no longer outside their front door; there's just a roof garden.

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She won't speak to anyone, is mean to her brother and gets into fights with the neighbours, especially the children. She's a right little madam. How her cello-playing mother and patient, ineffectual father put up with it is hard to imagine. And that's not the only thing hard to imagine.

One evening a shooting star goes wrong - yes, their rooftop has fabulous views of the night sky and the beautiful old town, with modern high-rise flats glimmering in the distance. The star lands outside her bedroom, but one of its points has broken off. It's still shimmering and sort of magical and also very much alive. In fact, it's a plump and cuddly wee star.

There's lots of chasing around with cats and the neighbour's son, but eventually Laura catches the star, tapes the missing point back on and takes it to bed. The star is so delighted to be more or less whole again that it behaves itself and doesn't try to escape. In the morning, after she crams it into her satchel and runs off to the park, smiling at last, it becomes clear that this star is indeed magic and intent on protecting her.

The film is really about change, adjusting to different surroundings and letting go. Laura's mother walks to the big concert hall for an important performance, hugging her cello case. After she's gone, Laura discovers that she left her bow and out into the street she runs, bow in hand, something she would never have done before, being too caught up in her own unhappiness.

The rest is pretty much pre-ordained. Little plump star is left behind, neighbour's son hops on bike, star joins in and there's a big, breathless adventure. The look of the film is fresh and the animation delightful. The hard part is believing that a star has human emotions. At least, they have the decency not to paint a face on it.

The audience has to let go to. It's the only way. Sit back, relax and let the ethereal music and cavorting in the heavens weave its own special magic.

Reviewed on: 04 Feb 2005
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A sulky girl learns to smile again when she makes friends with a fallen star.

Director: Piet De Rycker, Thilo Rothkirch

Writer: Klaus Baumgart

Starring: voices of Celine Vogt, Maximilian Artajo, Eva Mattes, Heinrich Schafmeister, Peter Fitz, Hildegard Krekel

Year: 2004

Runtime: 80 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: Germany/Bulgaria


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