Todd Haynes has officially wrapped production on his 10th feature-length film, “May December,” a drama about two women whose personal and professional lives begin to blur that sounds very Todd Haynes indeed. (Think “Persona” meets “Three Women.”) A source close to the production confirmed to IndieWire that principal photography wrapped this past weekend in Georgia, where the film had been shooting in the Savannah area. The film stars Julianne Moore (reuniting with Haynes after collaborations like “Safe,” “Wonderstruck,” and “Far from Heaven”) and Natalie Portman (working with the Oscar-nominated filmmaker for the first time).
Working from a Black List-touted script by Samy Burch with a story by Burch and Alex Mechanik, “May December” centers on a married couple whose lives begin to buckle under pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a movie about their past — including the couple’s notorious May-December tabloid romance that once gripped the nation. The cast also includes Charles Melton (“Riverdale”), with Killer Films as usual producing the latest Haynes joint.
More from IndieWire
This time around, Haynes was not able to work with his regular cinematographer Ed Lachman, as the Oscar-nominated “Carol” and “Far from Heaven” cinematographer broke his hip while filming a Pablo Larraín movie in Chile earlier this year. “I just came home from Chile doing a film with Pablo Larraín, and I, unfortunately, I broke my hip,” Lachman told Variety this month. Lachman had been shooting the “Spencer” and “Jackie” director’s vampire movie “El Conde.”
“May December” was instead shot by Christopher Blauvelt, a regular cinematographer for Kelly Reichardt, a longtime friend of Haynes’ going back to their days kicking around the New Queer Cinema of the early 1990s. Blauvelt shot several of Reichardt’s films including this year’s “Showing Up,” plus “First Cow,” “Night Moves,” and “Meek’s Cutoff.”
“What so appealed to me about Samy Burch’s exceptional script was how it navigated potentially volatile subject matter with a kind of observational patience that allowed the characters in the story to be explored with uncommon subtlety,” Haynes recently told The Film Stage circa the festival re-release of his 2002 Douglas Sirk homage “Far from Heaven.”
Next up, “May December” is presumably readying for Cannes, where Haynes has long been a mainstay with films including “Wonderstruck” and “Carol,” which won Rooney Mara Best Actress on the Croisette in 2015. Here’s the synopsis for “May December”: “Twenty years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, Gracie Atherton-Yu and her husband Joe (23 years her junior) brace themselves for their twins to graduate from high school. When Hollywood actress Elizabeth Berry comes to spend time with the family to better understand Gracie, who she will be playing in a film, family dynamics unravel under the pressure of the outside gaze. Joe, never having processed what happened in his youth, starts to confront the reality of life as an empty-nester at 36.”
Best of IndieWire