Stars at Noon: A Thrilling Romance Set in Nicaragua


Stars at Noon: A Thrilling Romance Set in Nicaragua

Stars at Noon is a 2022 English-language French romantic thriller film directed by Claire Denis, based on the 1986 novel The Stars at Noon by Denis Johnson. The film stars Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn as a young American journalist and an enigmatic Englishman who fall in love amid the political turmoil of Nicaragua in the 1980s.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on July 12, 2022, and received positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of Qualley and Alwyn, the cinematography by Agnès Godard, and the atmospheric direction by Denis. The film was also nominated for several awards, including the Palme d’Or, the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and the BAFTA for Best Film Not in the English Language.

Stars at Noon is a gripping and sensual story of two strangers who find each other in a dangerous and exotic land. The film explores themes of identity, trust, betrayal, and survival in a time of political unrest and violence. Stars at Noon is a must-see for fans of Claire Denis, Denis Johnson, and romantic thrillers.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Denis Johnson, who was inspired by his own experiences as a journalist in Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution and the Contra war. Johnson wrote the novel in a poetic and hallucinatory style, capturing the beauty and horror of the country and its people. The novel was praised by critics as a masterpiece of American literature and was compared to the works of Graham Greene and Ernest Hemingway.

Claire Denis, who is known for her films about colonialism, post-colonialism, and sexuality, such as Beau Travail, White Material, and High Life, was drawn to the novel’s themes and characters. She adapted the screenplay with Andrew Litvack, who also co-wrote her previous film Let the Sunshine In. Denis said that she wanted to make a film that was faithful to the spirit of the novel, but also added her own vision and perspective. She said that she was interested in the relationship between the two protagonists, who are both outsiders and loners in a foreign land.

Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn were cast as the lead roles of Trish and Daniel DeHaven, respectively. Qualley, who rose to fame with her roles in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Leftovers, said that she was a fan of Denis and Johnson and that she was excited to work with them. She said that she prepared for the role by reading the novel several times, watching documentaries about Nicaragua, and learning Spanish. Alwyn, who is best known for his roles in The Favourite and Harriet, said that he was attracted to the role of Daniel because he was a mysterious and complex character. He said that he worked closely with Denis to create his backstory and motivation.

The film was shot on location in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with the cooperation of the local governments and communities. The film crew faced several challenges, such as the weather, the terrain, and the security. Denis said that she wanted to capture the authentic and diverse landscapes of the region, from the urban streets of Managua to the rural villages and jungles. She also said that she wanted to show the reality and the history of the country, without taking sides or making judgments.

The film’s soundtrack features original music by Tindersticks, who have collaborated with Denis on several of her films. The soundtrack also includes songs by Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and The Clash, which reflect the mood and the era of the film. The film’s title comes from a line in Cohen’s song “Hallelujah”, which is played during a pivotal scene in the film.

Stars at Noon is a film that will transport you to a different time and place, where love and danger are intertwined. It is a film that will challenge you, move you, and haunt you. It is a film that showcases the talents of Claire Denis, Denis Johnson, Margaret Qualley, and Joe Alwyn. It is a film that you don’t want to miss.