Todd Haynes’ May December made an impression on Cannes, earning a six-minute standing ovation during its Saturday evening premiere as castmembers Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton looked on.
Haynes’ latest film stars Portman as a Hollywood actress who travels to Georgia to research the life of Gracie (Julianne Moore, teaming with Haynes for the fourth time), who became tabloid fodder after she started a May-December relationship with Joe (Charles Melton), a man 23 years her junior. While preparing for the film about the couple’s past, Elizabeth observes Gracie and Joe’s marriage 20 years after their relationship was national news, a time when they are about to become empty nesters.
The film, which is being sold in the U.S. by CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group, was written by Samy Burch, with a producing team that includes Killer Films’ Christine Vachon and Will Ferrell, who was on hand in France on Saturday evening.
The May December premiere was delayed following the previous premiere of Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which runs over three hours. The late start didn’t keep audiences from reacting with big laughs during the film’s funnier moments.
“The making of this film was such a joy. We threw thus film together incredibly quickly,” said Haynes, following the ovation, adding that they shot for only 23 days in Savannah, Georgia. “It took everybody’s creative participation to make it possible.”