Renowned filmmaker Todd Haynes makes a comeback to the industry after a four-year hiatus with his latest film, ‘May December,’ featuring Oscar winners Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman. This sharp-witted drama draws inspiration from the notorious tabloid affair of Mary Kay Letourneau, an American teacher charged with grooming a 12-year-old student.
The trailer for ‘May December’ premiered on Tuesday, September 26, following its initial release in May 2023. The movie will hit select theatres on November 17, 2023, before becoming available on streaming services like Netflix in the U.S. and Canada on December 1.
Plot of ‘May December’
The film follows Portman in the role of Elizabeth Berry, a television star who delves into the life of Gracie Atherton-Yoo, portrayed by Moore, in preparation for an upcoming film. As Elizabeth becomes engrossed in Gracie’s world, she finds herself drawn to Gracie’s husband, Joe Yoo, played by Charles Melton. While the film presents a gripping and dark love triangle, it becomes evident that there is more to the story.
‘May December’ sheds light on the romance between Gracie and Joe, which began when Joe was just 13 years old. Their relationship quickly develops after Gracie’s release from prison, where she served time for grooming the teenager. Together, they raise three children, all on the brink of high school graduation. However, their seemingly contented married life is soon disrupted by the arrival of Elizabeth, who uncovers the hidden layers beneath the surface.
‘May December’ Premieres at New York Film Festival:
The captivating drama ‘May December’ made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May and is now set to screen on the opening night of the 61st New York Film Festival in September. Haynes expressed his pride and excitement about the North American premiere, stating, “We are all so proud and moved to have been invited to open the New York Film Festival with the North American premiere of May December.” He further emphasized the festival’s significance in his creative journey.
‘May December’ Receives Positive Reviews
After its Cannes premiere, Variety’s chief film critic, Peter Debruge, shared his thoughts on the upcoming film. Debruge described ‘May December’ as a “deep-as-you-want-to-go rabbit-hole drama” and went on to discuss the performances, particularly highlighting Moore’s role as a woman found guilty of corrupting a minor, which adds an intriguing layer to the film’s themes of reality and representation. Haynes, he notes, focuses more on emotional resonance than intellectual exploration, leaving the audience to interpret the complexities. While Portman’s role is more conceptual, Moore’s portrayal of the ‘real Gracie’ sets a high standard for believability, showcasing her character’s complexity and manipulative tendencies.