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In competition at Cannes: May, December, in the game of annoying mirrors

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With May-December, director CarolTodd Haynes confronts Natalie Portman with Julianne Moore through a deeply disturbing game of mirrors, with in the background a description of a country whose mores deeply shape identity. A standing ovation at the end of the session.

In Savannah (Georgia), whitewashed, colonial homes by the sea set the scene for a quiet, privileged life… Interpreted on screen by Gracie (Julianne Moore). This eldest mom of the family ignited the tabloid press and stunned the country 20 years ago for having an affair with a 5-year-old.H. After a few years in prison and a divorce, Gracie married her young lover, with whom she had twins. Did the water flow from under the bridges? In this confrontation between two women who are opposed by everything at first sight, as one seeks to explore the past while the other tries to bury it, features of a society torn between social norms and questions are formed in the background. Moral. Far from the physical resemblance (facial features, slender silhouette), the young actress who uses her grace, the subtlety of her gestures, to establish the coveted mimicry with her character, soon becomes one in a disturbing game of identity that questions self-knowledge.

Driven by stunning performances by Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, the film explores one of the great queens of humankind: “Our categorical refusal to look ourselves in the face,” said the director.

May December, by Todd Haynes with Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Charles Melton

Film in competition at Cannes 2023

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