Stars at Noon: a psychological thriller by Claire Denis

Picture of the film STARS AT NOON by Claire DENIS © DR

Her first film, Chocolat, about the impact of the bond between a little girl and settler family's servant in Cameroon, was In Competition in 1988. The wanderings of a mother and her son in J’ai pas Sommeil made their impact on Un Certain Regard in 1994. With around 20 feature films and documentaries to her name, the filmmaker Claire Denis, who was President of the Cinéfondation Jury in 2019, continues to explore human relationships with her new, international work In Competition, Stars at Noon.

Adapted from the novel "The Stars at Noon" by the writer and poet Denis Johnson, the romantic thriller Stars at Noon tells the story a passionate, unexpected love affair between an American journalist and a British businessman in the middle of a civil war: the Nicaraguan Sandanista revolution of 1984. The reporter only discovers later on that there is a hidden side to the man who turned up just when she needed help.

In 2001, the relationships between the characters in Trouble Every Day (Out of Competition) proved all-consuming. In her fifteenth feature film, Claire Denis once again explores the complexities of the bonds between people. It's a subject which is expertly handled by this director without borders, using her long experience of observation and travel, going back to her African childhood.

Claire Denis surrounded herself with an international cast for this film exploring the terror and disillusionment of love, with the American actress Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, 2019) playing Trish, the British actor Joe Alwyn (The Favourite, 2018) as Daniel, Benny Safdie (Licorice Pizza, 2021) as the CIA agent, and with the Panamanian actor Nick Romano, who was a revelation for the director. Claire Denis has constantly explored new locations for her work, ever since she made Chocolat. After working in Africa and Europe, she chose Panama this time, as a way of bypassing the Nicaraguan government in power since 2007, led by the former Sandanista revolutionary Ortega.