On Saturday, Todd Haynes premiered his latest film, May December, at the Cannes Film Festival. The film stars Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in a complex melodrama that tells the story of two women at different stages of their lives. The screening received an eight-minute standing ovation from the audience inside the Grand Theatre Lumière.
However, the screening was delayed by almost 40 minutes due to the late start of the movie that premiered before May December, which was Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. Despite the delay, the enthusiastic response from the audience was matched by a simultaneous press screening at the adjacent Debussy Theatre, where there was huge applause.
During the screening, Haynes spoke to the Lumière audience while standing between Portman and Moore. He expressed his joy in making the film, saying that it took everyone’s full cooperation to make it possible. The film was shot in 23 days in Savannah.
May December tells the story of an older star in her sixties who wants to turn the page and a Hollywood star at the top of her career who is searching for the truth. The male character of Joe subtly weaves threads between the actresses and the eras. The screenplay was written by Samy Burch, from a story by Burch and Alex Mechanik.
The film is being produced by Jessica Elbaum and Will Ferrell of Gloria Sanchez Productions, Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler of Killer Films, Portman and Sophie Mas under their MountainA banner, and Grant S. Johnson and Tyler W. Konney through their respective companies Project Infinity and Taylor and Dodge.
Haynes is a regular at the Cannes Film Festival. His last movie here was Velvet Underground in 2021, which screened out of competition. He has also had other entries in the competition, including Wonderstruck in 2017, Carol in 2015, and Velvet Goldmine in 1998. Carol notably won the Best Actress prize in Cannes for Rooney Mara, who was later nominated for an Oscar, as was lead Cate Blanchett.
Todd Haynes received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival for his latest film, May December. The film stars Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore and tells the story of two women at different stages of their lives. The screening was delayed but still received enthusiastic applause from both the audience and the press. Haynes expressed his joy in making the film and thanked everyone who made it possible.