3/10 The latest movie from Claire Denis, the synopsis for “Stars at Noon” is as follows: “A young American journalist stranded in present-day Nicaragua falls for an enigmatic Englishman who seems like her best chance of escape. She soon realizes that he may be in even greater danger than she is.” While the logline sounds intriguing and the movie is adapted from the 1986 novel by Denis Johnson, this movie is a complete snooze fest that drags on way too long. Before I get into why this movie is not worth your time at all, I will praise a few elements from the movie. The best part about the entire movie is the expert acting. The more work from Margaret Qualley (playing female lead Trish) that I watch, the more my respect for her as an actress grows. She is incredibly talented and despite not playing a likeable character, she still makes her character an easier pill to swallow solely based off of her magnetic performance. Her male co-lead is Joe Alwyn as Daniel and despite replacing both Robert Pattinson and then Taron Egerton, Alwyn also gives a solid performance and displays his talent in spades. While there are some talented performers in the supporting cast (Benny Safdie is fantastic), this is Qualley and Alywn’s movie from start to finish. The score was also well suited for the Nicaraguan setting and really makes you feel like you are in that often lawless location. Despite some fantastic acting and the solid score, this movie will put you to sleep. Even more impressive is the fact that there is a lot of sex and nudity, which would normally be stimulating for audiences but not even the eye candy got me excited as the slow pacing constantly dragged. The movie is 15 minutes shy of two and a half hours long and you will feel every second of it. A solid half an hour could have been cut out and the movie would have ultimately been the same. Instead we waste time with drunken antics that don’t push the story forward or develop characters and even the sex scenes became repetitive over time. There is so much build up and so little pay off with only a tiny bit of action sprinkled throughout this overly long slog. I am also never a fan of when two people fall in love instantly without knowing anything about each other in movies as it always feels completely unrealistic. While people can have an instant attraction towards each other upon meeting in real life, the rushed love in an otherwise slow movie feels unbelievable. Another unnecessary element was that the China Virus played a looming role throughout the movie with rapid testing and a lot of mask wearing that will only date the movie with the more time that passes. Like many movies made during the pandemic (“The Batman”, “Jurassic World: Dominion”, etc.) Denis could have made the movie far more timeless by not having the China Virus loom so large over the movie and instantly date it. Decisions like this seem nonsensical but by the time the movie ended, I was just so happy for it to be over. The amazing talent onscreen (playing unlikeable characters) feels utterly wasted (and John C. Reilly’s cameo is more distracting than anything) as you will have trouble staying awake during this movie. The title is ironic because even if you watch this movie at noon, you will likely fall asleep as you would if the stars were out in the evening sky.

#BarsAtNoon / #PoppinQualley / #Laid / #NicaPlease / #TrishingWell / #350ShotsOfRum

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s