All posts tagged: love letter

There Are No Heroes or Villains in ‘May December’

There Are No Heroes or Villains in ‘May December’

May December is not designed to provide easy answers. Todd Haynes’s new film stars Natalie Portman as an actor named Elizabeth who begins shadowing a woman who slept with a 13-year-old student in the 1990s, sparking a tabloid scandal. It’s a story obviously inspired by the Mary Kay Letourneau case, but it takes place in 2015 with the woman, Gracie (played by Julianne Moore), now out of prison, married to the now-adult Joe (Charles Melton) and raising their three children together. Over the course of the film, Elizabeth serves as an infiltrator and instigator, probing Gracie and Joe’s relationship as part of her research for a movie role. Their time together soon develops into a deliciously deceptive dance between two women carefully maintaining their own façades. And through it all, the film’s tone is hard to pin down, swerving between arch comedy and tense tragedy without ever giving the audience an obvious hero to root for. Haynes was immediately intrigued by the ambiguity of the script, which was written by the relative newcomer Samy Burch …