May December: Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore’s Acting Lesson (Review)

An actress comes to spend time with whom she will play on screen: a woman whose love at first sight for a minor captivated the country 20 years ago.

We know that. Todd Haynes Love actresses… who do it well. the latter Julian Moore (with whom he has regularly collaborated ever since Safe about 30 years ago), Natalie Portman The filmmaker joins an impressive list of directors on the big and small screen (Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Michelle Williams, Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway…). And this time, inspired by the affair of math teacher Mary Kay Letourneau (which hit the headlines in the late 90s), he sets up a face-to-face, pairing/duel between Elizabeth, on the one hand, an actress who is preparing. Filming her next film and second, Gracie, the woman she will play on screen, including her love story with her 13-year-old boyfriend years earlier (who has since become her husband and the father of her many children. ) landed her in prison. Earned.

A filmmaker of heartbreaking yet haunting tunes, Haynes signed off May December A film that is at odds with its habits, sarcastic and sarcastic at will. Both Elizabeth, often falsely mellowed, searching for the truth for her role, with each of her falsely innocent questions, the family harmony is characterized by Gracie as the standard, as if to convince herself that her love will prevail despite (or thanks to) the obstacles placed in its path. ) story is more beautiful, stronger and more solid than all the others.

May December with Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore

There is no character here to be preserved, too petty a Machiavellian too low to achieve any greatness or to inspire anything but pity. There is one side Ugly, dirty and nasty – in an ultra-polished mode – from this plunge into troubled waters where Elizabeth approaches Gracie’s husband to a scene of lovemaking that is more clinical than sensual, this humid environment was also symbolized by Christopher Blauvelt’s lighting – the formal beauty of his work in Antipodes The first cow By Kelly Richard – Gracie has long been on the front page to stick to the world of tabloids.

This bias, this stylistic effect that takes up a lot of space (the use of zoom, this idea of ​​a camera that wants to scratch the varnish of the look…) actually creates a distance with his characters and limits his potential. This film stands out. Emotionally deployed. But accompanied by music by a theme composed by Michel Legrand the messenger By Losey (Palme d’Or 71) – a musical carrying a playful irony – Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore put themselves out there with incredible power, ingenuity and intensity. An acting lesson, from the first shot to the last.

By Todd Haynes. With Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, Charles Melton… Duration: 1h53. Released on January 24, 2024

Natalie Portman in May December


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