May December Review


Riley Peru, Staff Writer

Although released in early November, Netflix’s film May December is taking over viewers’ screens. Starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Charles Melton, this Netflix film follows a rather controversial couple. This film is directed by Todd Haynes, who also brought Velvet Goldmine and Carol to theaters. Many big-name producers were a part of this production including but not limited to Will Ferrel, Natalie Portman, and Sophie Mas. The group created one of the most interesting yet uncomfortable films Netflix has to offer its subscribers.

Gracie Atherton was a thirty-six-year-old mother and employee of their local pet shop when she met 13-year-old Joe Yoo. She met Joe at the pet store, as they were coworkers. In the beginning, it was a formal and respectful conversation between the two, but it later escalated to a full-blown affair. With Gracie being an adult, she gets sent to prison while pregnant with Joe’s child. They remain in contact, and when Gracie is released early on good behavior, she violates her parole to go back to him. She has another child in prison. Upon release, they rejoice and continue their relationship. They get married and remain married for twenty years. Elizabeth Berry is an actress who just landed the role of “Gracie Atherton” in an upcoming movie about the estranged couple. She then spends her time with the Atherton family, observing Gracie so she can fully capture the life she lived. In an attempt to make the story as authentic as possible, Elizabeth talks to anyone she can about Gracie and Joe’s relationship. She goes to different locations, talks to family, and even writes down the exact makeup Gracie uses every day. Elizabeth does whatever it takes to prepare herself for the role, even if it means crossing some boundaries and overstaying her welcome.

Going into the film I had zero expectations of what it could be about. I had not heard of it until I saw an article online discussing its controversial plot. Therefore, I had to see what the fuss was about. The opening scene is confusing, it is very dramatic for what the scene entails. The first thirty minutes can be quite confusing, so this isn’t a film you want to have on in the background while doing other things. Once the movie continues, it all falls into place. It is twisted, and not suitable for younger viewers. The psychological side of the film is intense, the entire time my friends and I were homed in on the screen.

The ending of the film is shocking but also predictable at the same time. Unlike other films Netflix has put out, this one isn’t as light-hearted as something such as The Kissing Booth. It dives into a deeper and more nerve-wracking topic that reflects on true crime cases.

Overall, the movie was intense to sit through. If you have two hours to kill and want to feel uncomfortable the whole time this is the film for you. It is well-written and performed, and a must-watch film.

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