Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman are two halves of the same woman in the first trailer for Todd Haynes’ latest feature, “May December.”
In this case, Julianne Moore plays Gracie, a woman who gained infamy after falling in love with a teenage boy. Portman plays Elizabeth, the actress tasked with playing Gracie in a movie. The pair are flung into each other’s orbit when Elizabeth comes to stay with Gracie and her husband in order to research Gracie’s character.
The trailer itself looks utterly beautiful, with Haynes’ particular love of outdoor spaces on display. But, more importantly, the story seems to analyze themes also exhibited in Haynes’ past work, including illicit relationships and society’s equating of fame and infamy. It feels less like “Far From Heaven” and more a mash-up of “Carol” and Haynes’ “Superstar,” which sounds amazing.
“May December” premiered at Cannes in May to solid reviews. Netflix soon snapped up the right to distribute the feature, reportedly for $11 million making it the most expensive deal made at Cannes. Critics were effusive in their praise for the movie at the time.
Kyle Buchanan of The New York Times called the film, “Juicy, funny, campy and immediately the most quotable movie of Cannes.” He and Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson also cited CW-star Charles Melton as a particular standout, comparing him to “Elvis” breakout star, Austin Butler. Melton is seen in the trailer and no doubt looks to give a powerful performance as the film forces the viewer to question his ability to consent in the relationship the film depicts.
In her review of the film out of Cannes TheWrap’s Tomris Laffly called the film “a deliciously shapeshifting, saucily witty psychodrama.”
The film will screen as part of opening night of the New York Film Festival. Haynes and longtime producing partner Christine Vachon will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Collaboration at the 46th annual Mill Valley Film Festival this year as well.
Haynes directed from a screenplay written by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik. Jessica Elbaum and Will Ferrell of Gloria Sanchez Productions, Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler of Killer films and Portman and Sophie Mas of MountainA act as producers.
Watch the trailer below.
Netflix will release May December on Dec. 1.