When it comes to legends, rarely do we know the person before they achieve legendary status. Gabriel Range’s Stardust is the story of singer David Bowie and the events leading to his transformation into the iconic Ziggy Stardust.
Set in 1971, David Jones (Johnny Flynn) found a great deal of success as musician David Bowie in his home country of England. Bowie’s next logical step to stardom is to tour the United States, but Bowie’s music was a little too Avant-Garde for Americans, and his record label does not have much faith in his drawing power. They allow him to tour, but only after partnering him with record company publicist, Rob Oberman (Marc Maron). Bowie would stay at Oberman’s home, and the two would travel across the country in Oberman’s not-so-spectacular car.
“…the tour consisted of industry parties and singing covers…”
The tour is nothing like what Bowie expected. He is in the country without a proper visa or green card, so he can’t perform any shows. Because he hasn’t filled out his musician’s union paperwork, he can’t perform his music. Instead, the tour consists of playing industry parties and singing covers of songs by The Velvet Underground, Cream, The Who, and The Yardbirds.
Bowie has this “magic touch,” or I should say a “cursed touch.” He has no success. He meets all the wrong people, and his ego causes him to tank every interview Oberman sets up. At home, his wife, Angie (Jena Malone), is becoming increasingly impatient and indignant. Soon, David Bowie falls into a depression that can only be cured through sex and drugs.
"…the first film where the record company is the good guy."