Director: Claire Denis
Man has Margaret Qualley come a long way (downward) since breaking onto the scene in Nice Guys and Novitiate. I would have said that she was a rising star with potential, but that potential seems to have been tapped out, because what she’s left with now is a little talent and a lot of weirdness, banking solely on the fact that she’ll do strange projects others won’t. That’s a way to shock us, but not impress us, and I’m afraid my patience with this particular actor is running out.
Trish is a failed journalist who is now trapped in the countries she’s been trying to write about; Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Central America in general. She’s gotten on the wrong side of the crooked local governments, had her cell phone & her passport taken, and is now debasing herself by sleeping with policemen to try to get out of the country. Her next target is a British businessman, who she has sex with for $50 USD, but he has problems of his own, he can’t help her, and their budding relationship is only going to get them both in more trouble.
This movie might sound like it has a plot, but I assure you that it does not; I would call this theatre of the absurd if it had a cyclical ending, but it doesn’t, so it’s just plain absurd in the worst way. It’s a little like Mother!, events happening around a couple, metaphors hidden in the seeming randomness …except if there’s a solid meaning here I didn’t see it, and I’m left wondering if this film is simply idiocy disguised behind supposed talent. Denis is a unique voice, but one I don’t care to hear, and Stars at Noon is nothing I would ever watch again. It’s boring, it’s pointless, it’s badly acted, badly written, badly constructed, and if someone thought they were pretty clever while making it I sure hope that they’re extremely disappointed.
My rating: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆