Stars at Noon trailer: Joe Alwyn thriller film teased by A24
The trailer has just dropped for Stars at Noon, Joe Alwyn’s latest thriller film from major French director Claire Denis.
The romantic thriller is based on Denis Johnson’s 1986 novel and tells the tale of a hot and heady fling between an enigmatic Englishman Daniel (Alwyn) and an American journalist Trish (played by Margaret Qualley).
Set in modern-day Nicaragua (Covid masks included), the trailer opens with the duo meeting, then swiftly moves to a passionate love-making scene, which apparently features very heavily throughout the film. Daniel isn’t everything he first seems. Trish finds a gun in his washbag, and there’s a scene where Alwyn’s shaking hands with some slick-looking businessmen. Then it’s all go.
“I’m here on a charitable cause,” says Daniel at the bar. “Please don’t go into any detail,” replies Trish.
Benjamin Safdie (who co-directed Uncut Gems) stars too: “Your British friend interests me,” he says to Trish.
If it was any other director, any other key actors and any other film studio, the film might be one to pass. The Guardian described the cast as “strangely lethargic”, the BBC reported there were “so many torrid sex scenes that it’s quite a surprise when the actors have their clothes on” and Slant Magazine called it “a repetitious and at times trying 137 minutes.”
But 76-year-old Denis is one of France’s most legendary living film directors. Her leading ladies include Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert and she has made films including 1988’s Chocolat (not the Johnny Depp one), 1999’s Beau Travail, 2009’s White Material, 2013’s Bastards and 2022’s Both Sides of the Blade, which won the Silver Bear for Best Director in Berlin. Stars at Noon also won the Grand Prix at Cannes in May, sharing the trophy with Lukas Dhont’s film Close.
Not only this, but Qualley, whose mum is Andie MacDowell, is an exciting upcoming actor. Even though her career only really took off in 2019, she has already been nominated for two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. The film is from A24, too, the studio behind 2016’s Moonlight, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary Amy.
Plus, not all pundits were quite so critical: the BBC concluded that Stars at Noon is a “beguiling, immersive film”, while The Telegraph called it “an erotic thriller whose sexiness swirls off the screen.”
This year Alwyn is also starring in Lena Dunham’s latest film, Catherine Called Birdy alongside Bella Ramsey.
Stars at Noon is set for a US release on October 14, but a UK release is yet to be confirmed.