Todd Haynes’ ‘May December’ to Open Festival – IndieWire

It’s the middle of July, and cinephiles are already looking to September for “May December.”

The New York Film Festival has announced its 2023 Opening Night film: Todd Haynes’ highly anticipated “May December,” starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore. The film premiered earlier this year at Cannes and will make its New York City premiere September 29 to usher in the 61st New York Film Festival (NYFF).

Haynes’ 10th feature film and fifth with lead actress Moore, “May December” centers on a “Persona”-esque dynamic between Oscar winners Moore and Portman. Per the official synopsis, Elizabeth (Portman), a popular television star, has arrived in a tight-knit island community in Savannah. Here, she will be doing intimate research for a new part, ingratiating herself into the lives of Gracie (Moore), whom she’ll be playing onscreen, and her much younger husband, Joe (Charles Melton), to better understand the psychology and circumstances that more than 20 years ago made them notorious tabloid figures. As Elizabeth attempts to get closer to the family, the uncomfortable facts of their scandal unfurl, causing difficult, long-dormant emotions to resurface.

“May December” is written by Samy Burch, and will be released in theaters November 17 before streaming on Netflix December 1.

“We are all so proud and moved to have been invited to open the New York Film Festival with the North American premiere of ‘May December,’” director Haynes said in an official statement. “It is a festival that plays a role in my work and life like no other in the world, since it enshrines the cultural life of this city, which is both my creative home as a filmmaker and, as ever, the eternal site of artistic possibility.”

Dennis Lim, artistic director of the New York Film Festival, added, “‘May December’ is a tour de force of writing, acting, and directing: a film built on moment-to-moment surprise, as thought-provoking as it is purely pleasurable. It cements Todd Haynes’s place as one of American cinema’s most brilliant mischief-makers and as an all-time great director of actors. Todd has been a consistent presence at the New York Film Festival for almost his entire career, and we are very excited to open this edition with one of his most dazzling achievements.”

The 2023 NYFF Main Slate is selected by a committee comprised of Lim, Florence Almozini, Justin Chang, K. Austin Collins, and Rachel Rosen. Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema and takes place September 29 through October 15, 2023.


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