Todd Haynes’ Netflix drama “May December” takes on a taboo topic, centering on a decades-old tabloid sex scandal where a famous actress sets out to portray the scandalized subject in a film.
Julianne Moore stars as Gracie Atherton-Yoo, a woman caught in a taboo relationship with Joe, who was only 13 while working with her at a pet store. The pair now has three children and are faced with the arrival of a famous actress, Elizabeth Berry, portrayed by Natalie Portman, looking to study her subject and disrupt her seemingly serene life.
Based loosely on the Mary Kay Letourneau scandal, the film parallels the real-life story of a 34-year-old teacher who initiated a sexual relationship with her 12-year-old student, ultimately leading to marriage and children. The scandal sparked a TV movie in 2000 and continues to fascinate audiences with its dramatic and unapologetic nature.
Director Todd Haynes admitted the similarities between “May December” and Mary Kay Letourneau’s story, emphasizing the detailed nuances of the script that make it distinct. Despite the filmmaker’s efforts to focus on the film’s unique qualities, the inspiration from Letourneau’s story inevitably seeped through.
This captivating drama delves deep into the complex persona of Gracie, sharply contrasting her unapologetic nature with Letourneau’s own defiance. The film also explores the intergenerational dynamics and complexities of family life, adding layers of depth to the narrative.
Intrigued? “May December” is available for streaming on Netflix now, offering a thought-provoking and captivating story that mirrors the scandalous real-life events it was inspired by.
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