Jiminey Crickets, if I had known about Stars at Noon (screenplay co-written by and directly fully by Claire Denis) I would have begged for a talk back opportunity. Why do some films get so little press when they are quality, and others, like Halloween 17 or whatever the candy corn name is, get a lot of media attention?
Stars at Noon is a from a Denis Johnson novel which I would have read prior and co-written with the director by Andrew Litvack and Lea Mysius, who also worked with Denis on High Life (Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche) which I’ve always been curious about. Stars at Noon is helping to push me to watch more of her (and Mysius/Litvack’s) films.
So here’s why Stars at Noon is quality:
First, like all good real estate: atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere (same thing as location). I actually walked out of Burns Court expecting to see gun toting security and stray cats in the streets. Nicaragua, not exactly a family vacation destination…
(Second)…but somehow Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn make you want to go there as their heat make even the crummiest non-air conditioned bedroom look like sexy place to be. And kudos for the writer who dared go to the bonding experience of sex during the unclean time without being too graphic. A smart subtle choice to show there was some love in their making.
Third, very reliable and believable minor characters with my man, Benny Safdie being as solid as ever as the trusting beagle eyed guy who may have a trick up his sleeve. And a fantastic cameo by John C. Reilly who makes me want to beg for an encore….love that man!!! If you haven’t seen him in Winning Time yet, please run to your device and watch it now.
A wonderful slow burning plot and a jazzy music mix by Tindersticks. And again, bless Margaret and Joe for bringing sexy back.