“May December” Trailer Reveals Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in Todd Haynes’ Twisty New Film
Film fans rejoice anytime director Todd Haynes delivers a new feature. His last narrative work was 2019’s Dark Waters (his documentary The Velvet Underground was released in 2021), which feels like a lifetime ago considering all that’s happened since. Now, Netflix has revealed the first trailer for his latest, the dark comedy May December, which features his longtime collaborator, Julianne Moore, in a juicy role inspired by true events.
Moore stars as Gracie Atherton-Yoo, who, as the film begins, appears to be living her best life after 20 years in an idyllic marriage to Joe (Charles Melton), despite the fact that their union was a scandal that resulted in Graice going to prison. Gracie was 36 years old when she first met Joe…who was in 7th grade. Now, two decades later, the actress Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman) arrives at Gracie and Joe’s house to do research before she plays Gracie in a film. Thus, the tension in May December is set up—Elizabeth’s questioning and digging into Gracie and Joe’s past unearths uncomfortable truths, while Elizabeth insinuates herself into their lives, toying with Joe in the process.
It’s meaty material for a filmmaker of Haynes’ gifts and a story he lifted from real life. May December is loosely based on the story of Mary Kay Letourneau, an American teacher who was charged with having sexual relations with one of her 12-year-old students.
“Insecure people are very dangerous,” Gracie tells Elizabeth at one point in the trailer, as the stakes of the game afoot between them become clear.
“Haynes’ tonal playfulness has sometimes been overshadowed by the unerring consistency of his emotional textures, but here, in the funniest and least ‘stylized’ of his films, it’s easier than ever to appreciate his genius,” IndieWire’s Dave Ehrlich writes. While Variety’s Peter Debruge says, “Withholding moral judgment as best he can, Haynes keeps things more emotional than intellectual, trusting audiences to do that unpacking on their own.”
Haynes directors from a script by Samy Burch. Joining Moore, Portman, and Melton are Cory Michael Smith, Piper Curda, D.W. Moffett, Drew Scheid, Elizabeth Yu, Jocelyn Shelfo, Andrea Frankle, and Kelvin Han Yee.
Check out the trailer below. May December is in select theaters in November and arrives on Netflix on December 1.
Here’s the official logline:
Twenty years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, a married couple buckles under the pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a film about their past.
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Featured image: May December. (L to R) Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry and Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo in May December. Cr. Francois Duhamel / courtesy of Netflix