May December: Is the movie starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore inspired by an authentic news story? – Cinema News

On the occasion of the release of “In December,” here are five things to know about Todd Haynes’ film starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton.

What is this about? To prepare for her new role, a famous actress comes to meet the woman she will play on screen, whose love life ignited the newspapers and enthralled the nation 20 years ago.

Freely adapted from A Secret News

The May-December duo, created by Julianne Moore and Charles Melton, is inspired by the Mary Kay Letourneau episode, which took place in the United States in 1997. The latter was an American teacher who, when she was 34, became pregnant by one of her twelve-year-old students, Vili Fualaau. He was sentenced to six months in prison (three of which were suspended) and three years of treatment for the sexual offences.

She then violated her probation and got pregnant again by Fualaau, which landed her in prison for seven and a half years in 1998. After serving her sentence, she married Fualaau in 2005 and raised two children with him, who were born while she was in prison. The couple ultimately divorced in 2019, and Letourneau died of cancer the following year.

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This film is not a reliable reconstruction of the case. The characters’ names are not the same as those of the original heroes, and Todd Haynes imagines an actress disintegrating into the couple’s life. Nevertheless, the motivation is clear and the main man concerned, Vili Fualaau, now 40, shared his dissatisfaction at not being consulted by production.

“I’m still alive and well. If (the production) had contacted me, we could have worked together on a masterpiece. Instead, they decided to rework my original story.”he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I am hurt by the entire project and the lack of respect for me, I who lived a real story and who is still living it. (…) My story is not as simple as this film (depicts). “,

led by natalie portman

It was Natalie Portman who sent the Sammy Burch script to Todd Haynes. The director immediately got carried away “The way he approaches potentially explosive topics with a kind of observant patience allows him to approach this story’s heroes with unusual subtlety. His writing was filled with a moral and narrative ambiguity that appealed to the audience. It was exciting.”

Todd Haynes says: “At the beginning of the film, the audience trusts Elizabeth (played by Natalie Portman). It is through her that we learn about Gracie (played by Julianne Moore) and her story. Then, we learn how Elizabeth uses everyone she meets, and our trust in her is shaken. That’s what attracted me about this project: confronting two actresses I adore, and giving the audience an unsettling situation. In which he has to constantly reevaluate what he thinks about the characters…”

May December Productions 2022 LLC

Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman

meaning of title

“May–December” is an expression in English denoting a relationship where both partners have a large age difference. When asked about the title of his film during a press conference at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, where the film was selected, Todd Haynes joked: “In France, we call it “Macron””,

In theaters: May December… Why should you see this movie with Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore?

cinematic references

May December aroused immediate cinematic associations in Todd Haynes, such as Persona where a troubled relationship develops between an actress and her nurse, but also two other Ingmar Bergman films, Autumn Sonata and The Communicants, where characters speak to each other directly. Addresses the camera. moment.

Films focusing on relationships with significant age differences also nurtured him, such as The Graduate, Twilight Boulevard, A Sunday Like Any Other, Manhattan and Lolita. Manhattan and The Graduate are examples for them “Where stylistic minimalism is almost indistinguishable from film success”,

a familiar tune

The film’s soundtrack takes as its theme the score that Michel Legrand composed in 1971 for Joseph Losey’s Le Messager. The music is well known among audiences as it also serves as the theme song for the show Bring in the Accompanied! “This score was initially a working tool but was eventually played throughout filming and until the end of editing. Composer marcelo zarvos rearranged it and used it”Todd Haynes explains.

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