“May December” – Artificial Paradise

For his return to fiction, two years after his beautiful documentary velvet Undergroundtodd haynes movies dYear may december A meeting between an actress and a couple whose story will be adapted for the cinema. LiuR union isTea based on pedophile relationshipAnd the newcomer will update his denial,

Filming the behind-the-scenes goings-on in the film industry is always a fascinating task, even if it is poorly executed. However, it is quite rare for a film to focus on something as singular and precise as an actress preparing for her role. so in may december, when Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman), actress, visits the home of Gracie Arthurton-Yew (Julianne Moore), she wants to observe and question the woman whose role she is going to play. In a word: espionage. By doing so, she stirs up Gracie’s relationship with Joe Yu (Charles Melton), 23 years her junior. She has been dating him uneasily since 1992, when he was 13 years old. At this age he became a father for the first time. After a stint in prison that exposed the tabloids’ obsession, it is a kind of parallel reality that Gracie now spends her days with Joe.

glass bubble

For Gracie and Joe’s family, as well as their three children, Elizabeth’s arrival provokes conflicting emotions. She initially generates excitement and fascination or questions – after all, she is a star. This then turns into discomfort, if not anger, when she asks about the side effects of their existence, or when she is present at family and intimate moments.

It seems that Gracie’s life is limited to making blueberry pies which she sells. Rare consumers are always the same people: their loved ones who maintain contact with them. It is in self-reliance that the family lives in self-sufficiency, enjoying the destructive notoriety signified and signified by the excrement sometimes left on the stairs, wrapped in carefully sealed packages. Off-camera is naturally the scene of divisive opinions towards him. That’s why everything is designed to protect the hermetic couple from the rest of the world.

This withdrawal into oneself is symptomatic of the double denial that preserves the family unit. According to Gracie, who grew up much faster than her. This would explain the urgency of their relationship, which would therefore be misleading. And as proof of his conviction: she has had many more ex-girlfriends than him, and before she met him he had to take care of her two sisters while she was somewhere much safer. Nothing unusual for Gracie. For Joe, neither. Despite being confident about choosing this life, he is unaware that his haste to become a father has robbed him of his adolescence. Knowing Gracie’s obvious vulnerability, he refuses to face the reality of this.

Julianne Moore and Charles Melton may december © ARP Selection

search for reality

Elizabeth’s approach involves curious methods with the family, at the risk of misunderstanding. To understand Gracie’s actions and bring them to fruition, she leads a surreal investigation. Elizabeth investigates, then turns into an inspector, a journalist who wants to delve deeper into the events of the 1990s, then go beyond them. She locates key locations, interviews relatives and witnesses, puts forward hypotheses, and collects information. The profession of faith dictates this: to seek the real, the truth. Capturing its complexity and making it tangible in front of the camera. This principle has been proclaimed, without didacticism, on two occasions. First, when she meets high school students to answer their questions about her profession as an actress. Then during the last sequence of the film on the set.

when the word History Employed by Elizabeth, she incurs Jo’s anger. Firstly, for the couple, only the present matters and the painful past must be forgotten. Especially for Joe, whom she usually calls History, this is his whole life. Elizabeth’s words betray him. Joe’s existence becomes raw material for a film, an object of study that becomes a game and an embodiment. Their role becomes even more worrying. How far is he willing to go to experience Gracie’s past and experiences? For what description?

She completes her investigation only to stumble across an old letter signed by Gracie. A kind of muse for Elizabeth, who has become a chronicler of ambiguity and human complexity. This letter, intended for fire, is the last concrete, physical trace of the previous period. From this, all that remains are confusing memories, evasive denial, as well as overt feelings of injustice and incomprehension.

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore may december © ARP Selection

angel of the unspeakable

Communication has become one of the fundamental issues may december, Firstly, it is the relationship between the actress and the person who must be interpreted to create a cinematic character that is highlighted. Face to face, side by side, in a mirror: the production combines shots that assimilate them. Without highlighting it beyond the framing, we note the efforts made by Elizabeth to reproduce Gracie’s postures, facial expressions, and clothing style.

Charles Melton also gets one of the most beautiful roles. His character is certainly the most touching. Gracie’s victim becomes aware of the abnormality, the unhealthy nature of their relationship, through her meeting and her exchange with Elizabeth. It is no coincidence that he keeps butterflies: the metaphor of the chrysalis is clear. But when he tries to discuss the topic with his wife, he finds himself facing a wall. Closed in her own world, she refuses communication and never understands her responsibility as an adult. And if he has been under Gracie’s influence for 25 years, his relationship with Elizabeth is equally difficult to explain.

Natalie Portman’s character thus takes on an active dimension in the film. Through her initially passive observation, she brings out the reality within the couple. And for the viewer, his role becomes more and more ambiguous: how should he take his actions? If thanks to Mise en abyme, may december It tackles a very sensitive subject with great subtlety and perspective, it also shows the problematic relationship that cinema has with reality when it is based on reality.

(TagstoTranslate)Cinema(T)Julianne Moore(T)May December(T)Natalie Portman(T)Todd Haynes

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