Cannes darling “May December” has unveiled its first trailer starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton. Directed by filmmaker Todd Haynes, the film first premiered back in May and is set for a limited theatrical release before hitting Netflix.
“May December” is based loosely on the true story of Mary Kay Letourneau, an American teacher charged with having a sexual relationship with one of her 12-year-old students. The film follows Hollywood actor Elizabeth Berry (Portman) who is tasked with portraying Letourneau stand-in Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Moore) on screen.
Elizabeth gets the chance to spend time with Gracie to better research her role, and delves into her convoluted family ties, a family that consists of Gracie, her young husband Joe Yoo (Melton) and the baby they conceived when was Joe was only 13 years old and Gracie gave birth to behind bars.
“May December” was written by screenwriter Samy Burch and also stars D.W. Moffett, Piper Curda, Elizabeth Yu, Gabriel Chung, Cory Michael Smith and Lawrence Arancio. Following its Cannes premiere, Variety’s chief film critic Peter Debruge called “May December” a “deep-as-you-want-to-go rabbit-hole drama.”
Debruge adds, “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.”
The film will open the 2023 New York Film Festival in late September before getting its limited theatrical release on Nov. 17. “May December” will then head to Netflix on Dec. 1.
Watch the trailer below.
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