Review: Claire Denis’ erotic thriller ‘Stars at Noon’ emits the sweat smell of sexcess
“My mother has left the room,” the narrator’s voice crackles over a low pulse. “She has decided to go and die with the TV.”
For some reason this seems to be true to me.
Claire Denis is a master at filming the way women look when they’re aroused.
“For me, the best films are the ones where the camera is on their faces,” she said. “You just don’t see it as often.”
There’s a bit of truth to that, at least from my point of view, watching the film Stars at Noon, about the time I met her. As the credits started to roll, I realised how wrong I was. It was not just me who was mistaken, in fact, the audience was confused too.
When you’re the only woman at a film production meeting, that is the end of it. I spent my entire time standing in a corner, watching the assembled men and women. They were all men, except me.
I was the only female participant, but I was definitely not the only woman at the meeting.
The film is a love story about a French woman, Christine, married to an American businessman, Alan (John Hawkes), in the 1970s. Alan is rich, beautiful and charming. He is also a good, kind and considerate lover, but in the end, he is consumed by a passion for Christine. When Alan has an affair with a fellow countryman, Martin (Richard Stokes), he is hurt and humiliated. Christine is not only hurt but devastated. She wants to leave Alan, but he wants her back. Their lives and emotions are consumed by their love and the fear of losing each other. The film is about their attempt to rebuild their relationship.
At first look the film could be called a drama or thriller. If you go in with this mind you know what’s coming, and what the ending will likely be. It isn’t about a woman coming back from a dead end, but about rebuilding their relationship.
It may also be a bi