It’s mid-July and cinephiles are already eyeing September for “May December.”
The New York Film Festival has announced the film of the opening night of 2023: the highly anticipated “May December” by Todd Haynes, starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore. The film premiered earlier this year in Cannes and will premiere in New York City on September 29 to kick off the 61st New York Film Festival (NYFF).
Haynes’ tenth feature and fifth with lead actress Moore, “May December” centers on a “Persona”-style dynamic between Academy Award winners Moore and Portman. According to the official synopsis, Elizabeth (Portman), a popular TV star, has arrived in a tight-knit island community in Savannah. Here, she will make an intimate quest for a new part, currying her way into the lives of Gracie (Moore), whom she will play onscreen, and her much younger husband, Joe (Charles Melton), to better understand the psychology and circumstances that more than 20 years ago tabloid figures made them known. As Elizabeth attempts to get closer to the family, the uncomfortable facts of their scandal unfold, causing difficult and long-simmered emotions to resurface.
“May December” is written by Samy Burch and will be released in theaters on November 17 before streaming on Netflix on December 1.
“We are all so proud and touched to be invited to open the New York Film Festival with the North American premiere of ‘May December,'” said director Haynes in an official statement. “It is a festival that plays a role in my work and in my life like no other in the world, as it encompasses the cultural life of this city, which is both my creative home as a filmmaker and has always been the eternal place of artistic events 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 inspiring as it is purely pleasurable. It solidifies Todd Haynes’ position as one of American cinema’s most brilliant mischief-makers and as an all-time great director of actors. Todd has been a constant 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 surprising achievements ”.
The NYFF 2023 core slate is selected by a committee consisting 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 runs from September 29 to October 15, 2023.