"Stars at Noon" is another film by Claire Denis that seems like it's been time-warped in from the 1970s or '80s.
The movie adaptation is typically described as an "erotic thriller" or simply "a thriller".
But what's actually onscreen is more of a vibe than a story.
Film is anchored by an understated, unstintingly honest performance by Qualley.
Trish describes herself as a journalist but hasn't sold a piece in a long time.
She sells her body for money and treats her neighborhood as an open-air series of opportunities.
"Stars at Noon" takes its sweet time sidling up to the barest hint of a plot.
The first half-hour is just about Trish and her world and routine.
Denis is part of a group of filmmakers who could be described as "sensualists".
Trish is smart, cynical, and tenacious, in the manner of a hardboiled heroine in an old Hollywood film.
The intense Covid-19 precautions in Panama, which doubles for Nicaragua, become an integral part of the texture.
If you're looking for something other than what "Stars at Noon" actually is, there's nothing here for you.
This is a film about young, brittle-souled, eloquent but somewhat sour people who drink and have realistic sex.
It clocks in at two hours and seventeen minutes.