Renowned film director Todd Haynes is back in the industry after four years with his new film, ‘May December’ starring Oscar winners Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman. This witty drama takes inspiration from the scandalous tabloid relationship of Mary Kay Letourneau, an American teacher charged with grooming one of her 12-year-old students.
The new ‘May December’ trailer made its debut on Tuesday, September 26, after its initial release in May 2023. The film will be released in select theatres on November 17, 2023, before hitting streaming services like Netflix in the U.S. and Canada on December 1.
Plot of ‘May December’
The film follows Portman, playing the character of Elizabeth Berry, a television star, who studies the life of Gracie Atherton-Yoo, played by Moore, to prepare for a part in her upcoming film. As Elizabeth immerses herself in Gracie’s world, she becomes drawn to Gracie’s husband, Joe Yoo, played by Charles Melton. While the film brings the audience a gripping and dark love triangle, it is safe to say that there is more to it.
‘May December’ shines light on the love affair between Gracie and Joe, which bloomed when the latter was only 13 years old. Their union swiftly follows Gracie’s release from prison, where she served time for grooming the teenager. Together, they raise three children, all set to graduate high school. However, their seemingly happy marriage life is soon disrupted by the arrival of Elizabeth, who unveils the deeper layers beneath the surface.
‘May December’ set to premiere at New York Film Festival
The thrilling drama ‘May December’ premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May. It is now all set to screen at the New York Film Festival on the opening night of the 61st New York Film Festival this September. “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 told Netflix, expressing his joy. “It is a festival that plays a role in my work and life like no other in the world, since it enshrines the cultural life of this city, which is both my creative home as a filmmaker and, as ever, the eternal site of artistic possibility.”
‘May December’ receives positive reviews
Following its Cannes premiere, Variety’s chief film critic, Peter Debruge, shared his review of the upcoming film.
Debruge called ‘May December’ a “deep-as-you-want-to-go rabbit-hole drama,” before adding, “Everyone here is performing at all times. Lest we forget, on a meta level, Moore is also an actor playing a woman found guilty of corrupting a minor, which raises intriguing questions about reality and representation (à la “Kate Plays Christine”). Withholding moral judgment as best he can, Haynes keeps things more emotional than intellectual, trusting audiences to do that unpacking on their own. Though Portman has the more conceptual role here, Moore must set a benchmark for believability as the ‘real Gracie: a woman who describes herself as ‘naive,’ but is heavily invested in how she will eventually be portrayed — and slyly manipulative in getting her way.”