Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman in the Todd Haynes Movie – Deadline

Todd Haynes has a way with female stars. In this context, I would also call him the new age George Cukor. Which of the two Tune Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, or with their HBO narrow range mildred pierce with Kate Winslet, or his tribute to the director of so many so-called “women’s pictures” in the 50s, Douglas Sirk far from heaven With Julianne Moore, he seems to be in his comfort zone with women. This has never been more evident than in his latest, may decemberA deliciously entertaining showcase for Natalie Portman and Moore (her and Haynes’ fourth film together), which had its world premiere Saturday in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

The title is fine, but watching the movie, I kept thinking that it would have been a better title from Hollywood past. imitation of Life From the above sarcasm, it’s not that this film has anything else in common with that 1959 VP, but its title is a reference to the original concept here — about a TV actress who moves to Savannah, Georgia to research her latest role. Descends to spend a few days. In real life, the 36-year-old plays a wife and mother who was in the news 20 years ago for her affair and subsequent marriage to a 13-year-old boy.

RELATED: Cannes Palme d’Or Winners Through the Years: Photo Gallery

The premise was Hello to Me, really the stuff of classic Hollywood melodrama, but with a smart contemporary spin. Portman, also a producer on it, which brought the Sammy Burch script to Haynes, plays TV series star Elizabeth Berry, who has been cast as Gracie Atherton-Yu (Moore) in an independent film, which Scared the world, landed on every tabloid cover. , went to prison, gave birth to twins, and there married a 23-year-old boy named Joe Yu (Charles Melton). Now they’re still married, devoted to each other, and twins Mary (Elizabeth Yu) and Charlie (Gabriel Chong) graduate from high school. Berry arrives in Savannah during this time to personally research the character she is going to play. She gradually ingratiates herself, first at barbecues and later in other ways as it becomes a Hollywood star, though briefly, as one of the family. Berry approaches this the same way a reporter might trying to learn everything he can from and about Gracie. Admittedly it’s weird, but Burch’s script reveals a little at a time, painting a much bigger and more complex psychological picture with each stroke.

RELATED: Cannes Film Festival 2023 in photos

Berry tries to get information from Jo; She visits the pet store where the two met and talks to the owner and goes to the stock room where they had sex; she has coffee with ex-husband Tom (DW Moffett); helps Gracie choose a prom dress for Mary; meets local cop (Lawrence Arania) and friend, who was the first person Mary called after the affair; And she meets Georgie (Cory Michael Smith), Gracie’s firstborn, who is a little unconvinced. They all hold keys that Elizabeth feels may inform her portrayal.

More importantly, why did all this happen? Does the Gracie we see suffer sudden emotional outbursts, have mental problems, or was she just incredibly needy and searching for eternal happiness? She lives in a small island town that whispers behind her back for years. That much is clear, even though she runs her own cake-baking business, but not with a large clientele, as Elizabeth learns. Joe seems like a nice guy, but once the wall is broken, even Elizabeth learns more about him than she could have imagined. He has his own problems. Kids and extended family have their issues too and always have, but the really fascinating things happen between Elizabeth and the woman she’ll be playing — especially a scene in front of a mirror where Gracie teaches the star that she’s How to apply makeup

Mirrors usually have a lot to do with this movie: entire interactions are filmed in front of them, the better for life imitations that are due to start shooting in three weeks. Upon reflection, both Gracie and Elizabeth may have been closer than they seem during the first measured meetings, and Gracie points out to Elizabeth that the actress is exactly the same age when the relationship began, “well, it’s”. May December” appears. it’s all really Them. Although it is a lot of fun to watch it all move slowly. You can see Cukor or Sirk capturing this material, just as Haynes does in sparking this screenwriter’s first produced script.

RELATED: Cannes Film Festival Full Coverage

Some of it is pretty funny, especially a scene where Portman is going on video auditions for potential co-stars, all the weird 13 year olds with braces, etc. Children. Also, Georgie, an aspiring musician, basically tries to blackmail her into getting a job as music supervisor on the film (he read a list of film jobs and liked it), promising in return that He won’t go to the press to ruin it when it comes out. “I really know how to pick good songs for movies,” promises a loose cannon of a young man. Portman’s response is priceless. Gracie’s breakdown when a customer cancels a cake order is also pretty great.

you can not, Can not Do better than having Portman and Moore front and center with juicy roles like this. Watching their cat-and-mouse game reaffirms that these two Oscar winners are as good as it gets. Melton (Reggie on Riverdale, In fact here’s as credible and vulnerable as the 33-ish-year-old version of the kid who succumbed in the first place, though just who seduced Joe seems to be a bone of contention between Gracie and Joe. Smith, who was in carol, Entertaining Nails Georgie.

The music is great, and it should be, because Haynes fell in love with the late great Michel Legrand’s 1971 score the go between, a Julie Christie film, and was adapted by composer Marcelo Zavaros. This works for the film on every level, especially as it becomes more suspenseful and revealed as it progresses.

The film is looking for distribution. Rocket Science Presents, and features multiple production companies including Gloria Sanchez, Killer Films, and Mountain A, in association with Taylor & Dodge and Project Infinity. Producers are Portman, Sophie Maas, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, Grant S. Johnson, Tyler W. Cooney, Jessica Albaum and Will Ferrell.

Topic: may december
Festival: Cannes (Competition)
Director: Todd Haynes
Script: Sami Burch
Sales Agent: CAA Media Finance, UTA Independent Film Group
mould: Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, Charles Melton, Corey Michael Smith, Elizabeth Yu, Gabrielle Chong, Piper Kurda, DW Moffett, Lawrence Aransio
running time: 1 hour 53 minutes

Leave a Comment