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Starring: Margaret Qualley, Joe Alwyn, Danny Ramirez, Benny Safdie, John C. Reilly
OUR RATING: ★★☆☆☆
A24 romantic thriller directed by Claire Denis. Stars at Noon (2022) follows Trish (Margaret Qualley), a young American journalist stranded in present-day Nicaragua, who falls for Daniel (Joe Alwyn), an enigmatic Englishman, who seems like her best chance of escape. However, she soon realizes that he may be in even greater danger than she is.
Trish: Young rebels used to be so sexy.
Trish: You’re English.
Daniel: I am. London, currently. Where are you from?
Trish: Here and there and yonder. What about yourself?
Daniel: Didn’t we just do that?
Trish: [to Daniel] You have the kind of good manners that eventually get you killed.
Trish: [to Daniel] We have forty-five minutes till the bar closes, long enough to get swacked.
Daniel: What brought you here?
Trish: I came on a plane.
Daniel: I suppose I met all your motives.
Trish: I can tell you my motives. I wanted to know the exact dimensions of hell.
Daniel: Are you for sale?
Trish: I’m press.
Daniel: We’re all press.
Trish: Then we’re all for sale.
Daniel: I’m here with the Watts people. I say “with”, but I’m here alone.
Trish: The Watts people, the oil company?
Daniel: Yeah, on a charitable cause, you could say.
Trish: Please don’t go into detail.
Trish: Now that we know each other so well, care for some supper?
Daniel: I think it’s kind of late.
Trish: For a price, I’ll sleep with you.
Trish: Your skin is so white. It’s like being f***ed by a cloud. You’re just a mist.
Daniel: Yes. A mist.
Trish: I want to be paid in dollars.
Daniel: Everybody wants dollars.
Trish: Don’t worry. You don’t have to start thinking how to ditch me. I’m not here for your dollars, I’m here for the air-conditioning. You’re thinking so hard how to ditch me that your head is smoking. What do you have to say about that?
Daniel: I was thinking about something quite a bit different.
Daniel: [to Trish] I commit adultery often. I never really miss anybody. I feel I’m in danger of throwing my life away.
Daniel: Shall we meet again?
Trish: Again and again. Anytime you have fifty US.
Daniel: Right. Of course.
Trish: [to Daniel] I don’t usually fall asleep in somebody else’s bed. I like your style. Normally, in my dark heart, I look down on the impoverished lackeys of pig billionaires with their poor report string back.
'I wanted to know the exact dimensions of hell.' - Trish (Stars at Noon) Click To Tweet
Trish: I’m saying that I can get you a wonderful piece on a nature reserve in Costa Rica. You’ll wake up to the sound of howler monkeys, you’ll have a deluxe tent and a private bathroom, which is a real steal in the midst this pandemic.
American Magazine Editor: Yeah. Well, I’d love to be woken up by howler monkeys at 7:00 AM, but not by you, Trish. No offense.
Trish: Things aren’t as simple here as you want to think.
American Magazine Editor: Okay. How about this? Is this simple enough? F*** you.
Trish: I am employed by you.
American Magazine Editor: You have never, ever, been employed by me. Not never, not never, ever.
Trish: What are you trying to say?
American Magazine Editor: I’m trying to say something along the lines of what I just said, which is, we don’t need your stories about missing persons or murder. I can watch that on CNN, okay? Just, why don’t you just admit to yourself you’re not a journalist? Alright? And stop calling me.
American Magazine Editor: Do you have my number?
American Magazine Editor: Good. Lose it, okay? Bye-bye, senorita.
Trish: Just wait until American tanks come and crush your hopeless country.
Daniel: I had a reason for ignoring you.
Trish: It’s okay, whatever my true feelings.
Daniel: Well, I’m sorry.
Trish: Consorting with unescorted women is no disgrace, Daniel.
Daniel: No, it wasn’t that. I was concerned for your reputation.
Trish: Who’s that friend of yours?
Daniel: He has a project to grow rice with rainwater. What I do interests him.
Trish: He’s a Costa Rican cop.
Trish: Are you familiar with the American expression “you’ve got your a** in a sling”?
Daniel: I’m familiar with most of your expressions. I’m familiar with a lot of things. If you don’t mind me saying so, I’m familiar with the way that whores try desperately to act as if they feel superior to those of us who pay them, when actually, you feel quite inferior. Actually, I think you feel ashamed.
Daniel: Why don’t you look at me when I’m talking to you?
Trish: Because there’s nothing to see.
Daniel: Well, if there’s nothing to see, then why don’t you look at me? If I’m no one.
Daniel: You’re drunk.
Trish: Would I be sitting here if I were the littlest bit sober? No. No.
'Nothing like running away in an old Toyota.' - Daniel (Stars at Noon) Click To Tweet
Trish: I need to buy some shampoo.
Daniel: You didn’t like the one you stole from me?
Trish: Why would they risk losing all of this power now that they have it?
Daniel: Because there are people here who still have principles.
Trish: Oh. Like what? What principles?
Daniel: Democracy. Equality.
Daniel: I don’t know why I bother.
Trish: Me neither.
Daniel: Where’s all the money from?
Trish: That’s not your kind of question. Are you a little tense?
Daniel: Should I be tense?
Trish: Watch out for dog doo doo and kitty plop.
Daniel: You’re amazing, you know that? Nothing stops you. Not rain, not car chases, not dog s**t.
'This is the worst time of day. This is the worst time of my whole life.' - Trish (Stars at Noon) Click To Tweet
Trish: This room was originally hired by the hour. So, come through the door, you pay, nobody sees your face, nobody gets your name.
Daniel: For a life like that.
Trish: It’s a life like another.
Daniel: [to Trish] I think maybe I’ve made a big mistake.
Trish: Hey, Englishman. My sweaty, sweaty Englishman. You’re going to be boiled alive.
Travel Agent: No passport, no dollars.
Trish: F*** you.
Travel Agent: F*** is a good word. F*** is the property of the whole world.