‘May December’ First Look: Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore Face Off in Todd Haynes’ Drama

The Cannes-bound feature comes from a Black List script by Samy Burch that follows a fraught movie production.
'May December' First Look: Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, pictured, Face Off in Todd Haynes' New Drama
"May December"
Killer Films

In advance of its Cannes premiere later this month, Todd Haynes’ latest film, “May December,” has released a first look at the new drama (via Variety).

The film, Haynes’ 10th feature, follows a pair of women (Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore) whose personal and professional lives begin to blur as they work together during the fraught production of a ripped-from-the-headlines love affair. Working from a Black List-touted script by Samy Burch with a story by Burch and Alex Mechanik, “May December” centers on a married couple whose lives begin to buckle under pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a movie about their past — including the couple’s notorious May-December tabloid romance that once gripped the nation.

Per its official synopsis, the film is set “20 years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, Gracie Atherton-Yu and her husband Joe (23 years her junior) brace themselves for their twins to graduate from high school. When Hollywood actress Elizabeth Berry comes to spend time with the family to better understand Gracie, who she will be playing in a film, family dynamics unravel under the pressure of the outside gaze. Joe, never having processed what happened in his youth, starts to confront the reality of life as an empty-nester at 36.”

Haynes regular Moore (who previously collaborated with the filmmaker on “Safe,” “Wonderstruck,” and “Far from Heaven”) stars as the female half of the original couple (with Charles Melton on board as her husband), with Portman (who joins Haynes for the first time) playing the movie version of her. Piper Curda, Elizabeth Yu, and Gabriel Chung round out the cast as Moore and Melton’s children, who are central to the story as well.

In the first look at the film, Portman and Moore face off, as Moore’s Gracie seems to be going about her normal day, as a studious Elizabeth appears to be taking copious notes on the minutiae of Gracie’s life (her makeup routine!). And, yes, things are already looking to be going a bit off the rails. Drama!

The film shot in Georgia, and wrapped in November. Christopher Blauvelt is the film’s director of photography, with the rest of the creative team rounded out with production designer Sam Lisenco, editor Affonso Gonçalves, costume designer April Napier, and casting director Laura Rosenthal.

“May/December” will premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival later this month.

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