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May, December

Actress Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) visits teacher Gracie (Julianne Moore) for research purposes: Gracie’s affair and later marriage to her 13 year old former student is going to be made into a movie.

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Todd Haynes (CAROL, I’M NOT THERE, FAR FROM HEAVEN, SAFE) is one of the most renowned US independent directors. In his newest film MAY DECEMBER, he gradually unfurls the network of relationships, power relations, and traumas of an unusual family. Actress Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) is meant to play the role of teacher Gracie (Julianne Moore) in a film about her affair and later marriage to her 13 year old former student. For research purposes, she visits Gracie, who was in prison due to the affair, and her family. Gracie is 59, her ex-student and current husband Joe (Charles Melton) is now 36. They have three children together, the oldest daughter is in college, the younger twins are about to graduate high school and will soon leave the house. Gracie has other adult children from her previous marriage and grandchildren who are also teenagers. Joe works as a radiology technician, Gracie sells homemade cookies. Elizabeth meets them at a neighborhood BBQ, almost an idyll.

Letting famous actress Elizabeth observe and dive into the microcosm of the family is a clever trick. Elizabeth assures them that she wants to show “the truth” in her film and generate more understanding for Gracie. The fact that this is definitely not what she's interested in becomes clear at the latest when Elizabeth rehearses the arousal during Joe and Gracie’s first time at the original location, the pet store storage room. Elizabeth is all about showing herself. Gracie is all about concealment and manipulation.

Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman often play neurotic or mentally distressed women, but their acting is completely oppositional and exactly correspond to the characters. Moore acts with maximal understatement while her body is always tense, Portman’s expressionist acting style is searching for maximal expression. Two examples: Gracie (Moore) ruthlessly manipulates her daughter Mary in a changing room: “Darling, I’m so proud of you. You're so brave to show your arms like that and just not care about these completely unrealistic beauty standards." Moore delivers the sentences in the friendliest tone, without batting an eyelid or even hinting at the intent to hurt. Gracie has completely internalized her pretense and her mantra that everything is fine, and Moore's understated, precise performance rarely sheds any light behind the facade. On the other hand, when Elizabeth unfolds a photo of Gracie and her daughter, who was born in prison, and sees the chains on Gracie's feet, Natalie Portman shows Elizabeth's shock by widening her eyes and a noticeable swallow, as if the aim was to impress the twentieth row in the cinema.

Todd Haynes constructs a complicated family machine, from which parts have already broken out, not without being damaged. Escape takes strength and leaves wounds. Joe raises monarch butterflies, which Gracie calls “bugs.” The butterfly metaphor runs through the film and holds out the hope of liberation, but whether anyone manages to transform and escape remains an open question.

Tom Dorow

Credits

Original title: May, December
USA 2023, 113 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Todd Haynes
Author: Alex Mechanik, Samy Burch
DOP: Christopher Blauvelt
Montage: Affonso Gonçalves
Distributor: Wild Bunch
Cast: Natalie Portman, Cory Michael Smith, Julianne Moore, Charles Melton, Piper Curda, Elizabeth Yu
Release: 30.05.2024

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May, December

(May, December) | USA 2023 | Drama | R: Todd Haynes

Actress Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) visits teacher Gracie (Julianne Moore) for research purposes: Gracie’s affair and later marriage to her 13 year old former student is going to be made into a movie.

Screenings

Charlottenburg

Delphi Filmpalast

TODAY

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/en/cinemas/delphi-filmpalast OmU20:30

Sunday 16.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/en/cinemas/delphi-filmpalast OmU20:30

Monday 17.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/en/cinemas/delphi-filmpalast OmU20:30

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/en/cinemas/delphi-filmpalast OmU20:30

Wednesday 19.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/en/cinemas/delphi-filmpalast OmU20:30

Delphi LUX

TODAY

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/delphi-lux OmU20:00

Sunday 16.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/delphi-lux OmU20:00

Monday 17.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/delphi-lux OmU20:00

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/delphi-lux OmU20:00

Wednesday 19.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/delphi-lux OmU20:00

Filmkunst66

Monday 17.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.filmkunst66.de/programm OmU18:00

Friedrichshain

Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

Sunday 16.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/filmtheater-am-friedrichshain OmU18:40

Monday 17.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/filmtheater-am-friedrichshain OmU18:40

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/filmtheater-am-friedrichshain OmU18:40

Wednesday 19.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/filmtheater-am-friedrichshain OmU18:40

Kreuzberg

fsk-Kino am Oranienplatz

TODAY

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/614 24 64, https://booking.cinetixx.de/frontend/#/eventList/2278359999 OmU13:00

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/614 24 64, https://booking.cinetixx.de/frontend/#/eventList/2278359999 OmU18:00

Sunday 16.06.

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/614 24 64, https://booking.cinetixx.de/frontend/#/eventList/2278359999 OmU13:00

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/614 24 64, https://booking.cinetixx.de/frontend/#/eventList/2278359999 OmU18:00

Monday 17.06.

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/614 24 64, https://booking.cinetixx.de/frontend/#/eventList/2278359999 OmU18:00

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/614 24 64, https://booking.cinetixx.de/frontend/#/eventList/2278359999 OmU18:00

Wednesday 19.06.

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/614 24 64, https://booking.cinetixx.de/frontend/#/eventList/2278359999 OmU18:00

Sputnik Kino am Südstern

TODAY

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU17:00

Sunday 16.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU17:30

Monday 17.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:15

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:00

Wednesday 19.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU17:00

Yorck

TODAY

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/yorck OmU20:40

Sunday 16.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/yorck OmU20:40

Monday 17.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/yorck OmU20:40

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/yorck OmU20:40

Wednesday 19.06.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/yorck OmU20:40

Mitte

Hackesche Höfe Kino

TODAY

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU14:45

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:30

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU22:00

Sunday 16.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU10:30

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU14:45

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:30

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU22:00

Monday 17.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU14:45

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:30

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU22:00

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU14:45

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:30

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU22:00

Wednesday 19.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU14:45

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:30

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU22:00

Moabit

Filmrauschpalast

TODAY

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:00

Sunday 16.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU18:00

Monday 17.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:00

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU20:15

Wednesday 19.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:00

Neukölln

Il Kino

TODAY

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:00

Monday 17.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU14:20

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU21:20

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU19:00

Wolf Kino

TODAY

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU20:45

Sunday 16.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU16:20

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU20:45

Monday 17.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU20:45

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU20:45

Wednesday 19.06.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU20:45

Schöneberg

Xenon

TODAY

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/7800 1530 OmU18:00

Sunday 16.06.

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/7800 1530 OmU18:00

Monday 17.06.

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/7800 1530 OmU18:00

Tuesday 18.06.

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/7800 1530 OmU18:00

Wilmersdorf

Bundesplatz-Kino

TODAY

TicketsReservation: Tel. 030/85 40 60 85 OmU18:00

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