"Please don't go into detail."
In filmmaker Claire Denis' Stars at Noon, adapted from the 1986 novel by author Denis Johnson, Margaret Qualley stars as Trish, an American journalist who finds herself stranded in Nicaragua amid a period of political unrest. There, she begins an affair with an enigmatic Englishman, Daniel (Joe Alwyn), whose secrets threaten both of their lives.
Benny Safdie co-stars as an equally enigmatic CIA agent, who warns Trish, "This country is kind of like a gambler's paradise. Everybody's giving the odds a shake, whichever game they feel like playing."
Denis wrote the screenplay for Stars at Noon with her High Life collaborator Andrew Litvack and writer-director Léa Mysius. The film premiered during this year's Cannes Film Festival, where it tied for the Grand Prix award. (The prize was jointly awarded with Lukas Dhont's Close.)
"I started writing the screenplay before the pandemic. I thought of shooting in Nicaragua. I ended up shooting it in Panama, with very strict rules," Denis said of the film. "I had a desire to live as we were living in real life, that is, with masks. I knew that as in the book, the landscapes were going to call for the scope format. The focal lengths used concentrate the image. Very close proximity is thus demanded. Much of the film takes place in beds and bedrooms."
Stars at Noon is in theaters on Oct. 14 and streaming on Hulu on Oct. 28. Watch the trailer below.