May December, Todd Haynes. Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman masterfully

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Finally, ambiguity. I love cinema Todd Haynes for his allusive, reserved, mischievous, ambiguous verbal style. For the contradictory shadows that he knows how to thicken around and inside his characters, feeding their stories that seem soft and twisty on the outside, but hard and cruel in essence. May December (2023), his new film previewed at Cannes will be one of the most beautiful of the next season.

Young actress Elizabeth BarryNatalie Portmanwonderful) introduces another woman, the elderly and glamorous Gracie Atherton (Julianne Moore, masterfully) under the guise of scrutinizing every detail that might help make him more committed to his “truth” in a biopic of her life in preparation. Gracie’s life became public thanks to an episode that at one time raised a terrible scandal, namely her relationship with an underage boy of Korean origin, Joe Yoo, with whom the woman fell in love when she was 36 and he was 13.

Elizabeth, in fact, is inspired not only by her devotion to her art of translation, and we immediately see that she moves in Gracie’s daily life like a vampire, ready to suck everything she can suck…

Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman
Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman in May-December, Todd Haynes

In an era of degeneration of moralism at the highest levels, such as the present, May December it is a providential film because it shows from afar the signs of hostility and hatred that still besiege Gracie and her young husband, even twenty years after the scandal, when their relationship was legalized and they even had children. But at the same time, Haynes also shows the small cracks in the relationship between a man and a woman belonging to different generations, after two decades of separation. manage and family atmosphere and friends, not without unsettling consequences, that surround them in the vibrant savannah where they live and where Gracie masterfully prepares sweets and cakes for which everyone competes or almost …

Tod Haynes on set May December
Tod Haynes on set May December

The strength of Haynes’ film, as well as its always menacingly nuanced tonality (music Michael Legrand For Mediator From Moose, master of ambiguity…) lies in the expressive significance he gave to the energies of the two protagonists that operate around Jo Yu’s athletic and opaque body: Gracie seems strong, then suddenly reveals herself extremely fragile, and this seems to be her intimate reality. But this is not so: from fragility comes strength. Conscious power. That’s why Gracie Atherton-Yu is a great character full of false bottoms, and it’s around her that the dynamics of this beautiful and venomous film gravitate.

Roberto Chiesi

May DecemberMay December
Original language: English
Country of origin: United States of America
Year: 2023
Duration: 113′
Directed by: Todd Haynes
Subject: Sami Burch, Alex Mechanic
Screenplay: Sami Burch.
Producer: Natalie Portman, Sophie Mas, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, Grant S. Johnson, Tyler W. Connie, Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell
Executive Producer: Madeleine K. Rudin, Thomas K. Richards, Lee Broda, Jeff Rice, Jonathan Montepare, Sami Burch, Alex Brown, Torsten Schumacher, Claire Taylor
Production company: MountainA, Gloria Sanchez Productions, Killer Films
Distribution in Italian: Lucky Red
Photograph: Christopher Blauvelt
Editing: Afonso Gonçalves
Music: Marcelo Zarvos
Production Designer: Sam Lysenko
Costumes: April Napier

Performers and characters
Natalie Portman Elizabeth Berry
Julianne MooreGracy Atherton-U
Charles MeltonJoe Yu
Corey Michael SmithGeorgie Atherton
Elizabeth UMary Atherton-U
Gabriel Chang Charlie Atherton-Yu
Piper Kurda: Honor Atherton-U
W. MoffettStory by: Tom Atherton
Lawrence ArancioMorris Sperber

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