May December: Todd Haynes' Latest Film Premieres at Cannes 2023, Acquired by Netflix for North American Distribution
Filmmaker Todd Haynes premiered his latest film "May December" at Cannes 2023, where it competed for the Palme d'Or and ended up being acquired by Netflix for distribution in North America after a bidding war that started at 6 million dollars and ended at 11 millions, with several interested distributors.
Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore star in this romantic drama that is loosely inspired by the true story of teacher Mary Kay Fualaau, who was accused and convicted of having sexual relations with a 12-year-old boy, whom she eventually married and even had two daughters with.
The story of "May December" takes place twenty years after the scandalous romance of a couple that caused a national uproar and sensationalist media coverage. The marriage begins to crumble under the pressure of an actress who is conducting research into their past for a new film.
In this adaptation of the case that became a scandal in the late 1990s, Natalie Portman plays the actress Elisabeth, who is interested in investigating the story of Gracie (Julianne Moore, in her fourth collaboration with the director), the woman who had a relationship with a man 23 years younger than her decades ago.
The production claims that "May December" "explores one of the great capabilities of the human species: our categorical refusal to confront ourselves." Cannes said that with this new film, Todd Haynes questions the choices of two women at different stages of their lives. On one hand, an actress at the height of her career, and on the other, a woman in her sixties who wants to leave that past behind. Regarding the character's relationship with an underage boy, Moore commented from the festival, "The reason why this film feels so dangerous to watch is because people don't know where anyone's boundaries lie. It feels terrifying."
However, the feature film offers good entertainment, as highlighted by The New York Times, which states that this could be the funniest film in Haynes' filmography and the most commercially viable. It elicited laughter during the screenings at the festival. "This is the most conventional film Haynes has made so far, but it is still packed with thematic layers, and the director seems to appreciate any interpretation, whether serious or humorous," wrote the publication.
Todd Haynes is the director of recognized films such as "Far from Heaven," "Carol," "I'm Not There," "Wonderstruck," and "The Velvet Underground."
The release date in theaters is currently unknown.
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