Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore deliver ‘fearless’ performances in May December, says writer

Natalie Portman (L) and Julianne Moore (R) in May December.

May December writer Samy Burch has told PinkNews that Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman’s showcase “fearless” performances in Todd Haynes’ new drama, which she describes as “wonderful filmmaking”.

The twisted romantic drama follows Hollywood actor Elizabeth Berry (Portman), who visits Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Moore) and her husband Joe (Charles Melton) as she prepares to play Grace in a film of their lives.

The couple became embroiled in scandal 20 years previously when Gracie started an affair with the 13-year-old Joe at her local pet shop, eventually landing her in jail. As Elizabeth visits their family to find out the real story behind the sensationalist headlines, Gracie and Joe are forced to confront the trauma rooted at the foundation of their relationship.

The morally grey themes of the film – which is helmed by Oscar-nominated Carol director Haynes – immediately caught the attention of Portman (Black Swan), writer Burch told PinkNews at the BFI London Film Festival May December premiere on Friday (6 October).

After Haynes and Moore joined the project, Burch says she witnessed cinematic magic take place on set between the two leads whose character dynamic is defined by unspoken tension and wary fascination.

“It was amazing, They are both so amazing and they’ve never worked together,” Burch said. “This is the first time and it was incredibly electric to see. [Haynes] said that Natalie’s sense of braveness and darkness reminded him of Julianne’s and I think you can tell, they are fearless.”

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Elsewhere, Burch spoke about the “amazing” experience of working Haynes to bring her script to life.

Samy Burch (L) and Todd Haynes (R) at the LFF premiere.
Samy Burch (L) and Todd Haynes (R) at the LFF premiere. (Getty)

“When you are lucky enough for Todd to want to do your movie it is like a golden ticket honestly”, she explained. “I’ve been a fan of every single one of his films for such a long time. He’s really a master thinker and craftsmen so that was a very exciting phone call for me.”

She continued: “[It was] such an incredible learning experience and he is so thoughtful. Every choice he makes is for a reason and as a director he has to make a lot of them so it is really amazing to watch his confidence and boldness and encyclopaedic film knowledge. It’s all been wonderful.”

May December releases in UK cinemas 17 November and on Sky Cinema 8 December.