June 2, 2023

Westside People

Complete News World

May December for the Oscars? Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore for Best Actress – Variety

Charlie Melton also gives an award-worthy performance that could shoot him to stardom.

Todd Haynes is the latest auteur to use Cannes as a launching pad for a potential Oscar contender, debuting his delectable drama “May December” at the festival on Saturday.

Less than an hour after Martin Scorsese’s 202-minute thriller Killers of the Flower Moon invaded Cannes, torrential rain on Saturday night couldn’t keep many customers away from watching Haynes’ movie. And not just because the film reunited the director with his muse Julianne Moore, with whom he worked on “Safe” (1995) and “Far from Heaven” (2002), the latter of which earned an Academy Award nomination for Moore’s performance and one for Hynes’ script.

Add the thrill of Moore acting opposite Natalie Portman; How could this not be a proven recipe for success? With a clever script from distinguished screenwriter Sammy Birch (and a “story by Alex Mechanic”), as well as a surprisingly heartwarming twist by Charlie Melton, “May December” more than delivers on those high expectations. The film is looking for a distributor, so depending on Which studio picks up the rights to the movie and when they choose to release it, this could be an all-around player in multiple categories at the upcoming Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

The film tells the story of actress Elizabeth Perry (Portman), who is set to portray Gracie Atherton Yeo (Moore), a Georgia woman who becomes a notorious tabloid figure when she becomes involved in a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy. Charlie. Twenty years have passed and Grace is trying to keep the past in the past. But in order to prepare for her next role, Elizabeth visits Gracie and Charlie (Charlie Melton), 36, married with children, whose arrival has exposed the fractures beneath their carefully crafted deck. “May December” is very loosely based on the story of teacher Mary Kay Letourneau, who was in a relationship with, and married to, her teenage student Fili Fualaau.

Moore and Portman, in their purest form, provide the acting equivalent of an Olympic fencing match. Using Birch’s words and Heinz’s direction as ciphers, imagining one woman while the other strolls, the two execute a slick, techno-savvy approach—one of the best performances of their acclaimed careers. No kidding, it’s good.

Moore, five-time Oscar nominee – “Boogie Nights” (1997), “The End of the Affair” (1999), “Far From Heaven,” “The Hours” (2002) and “Steel Alice” (2014), for which she received Finally up on Best Actress — Gracie gives endearing lisp and a crisp edge (plus an icy fix). It’s a gritty performance, one that makes you care at various points for a woman who’s done something unimaginable. There are so many amazing sights for voters to get their hands on.

The same is true for Portman, who has received three career nominations for “Closer” (2004), “Jackie” (2016) and won Best Actress for “Black Swan” (2010). At first, Elizabeth Portman was unfailingly polite. But her Hollywood chic style barely conceals some voyeuristic cruelty. It’s her take on “It’s What the Big Guys Do” near the end of “May December” that refocuses all of the film’s themes.

So here’s the thing… How do you campaign for such talented and expensive female roles to get Oscar attention?

In Best Actress history, only five films have managed to get double nominations in that category — “All About Eve” (1950) with Anne Baxter and Bette Davis, “Suddenly, Last Summer” (1959) with Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor,” Dot. Transformation” (1977) with Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine,” Terms of Endearment” (1983) with McClain (which won) and Debra Winger and “Thelma and Louise” (1991) with Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon.

There was a growing disdain for actors, widely seen as top performers, campaigns being conducted to support their recognition, widely known as “class fraud”.

History’s worst crimes sprinkled with Al Pacino’s supporting actor nomination for 1972’s The Godfather (which led to the actor boycotting the ceremony) or Tatum O’Neal winning supporting actress for 1973’s “Paper Moon,” despite being in nearly every scene . In recent years, the topic came to the fore when Rooney Mara successfully campaigned as a supporting actress for Haynes’s “Carol” (2015), with her co-star Cate Blanchett pushing to get the lead actress. That awards campaign sparked controversy within the industry community. According to Matthew Stewart, who professionally tracks the screen times of his Oscar-nominated performance Screen Time Central websiteMara appears in approximately 60% of the film. It is the second longest recognized performer in this category. Mara eventually lost out to Alicia Vikander for “The Danish Girl,” another performance many considered starring.

For movie studios and award strategies, it’s about putting an actor (and a movie) in the best position to get the attention of the Academy. Is this true or fair? No, as this prevents other actors making supporting performances from receiving recognition. Take Sarah Paulson, also from “Carol,” or Madeline Kahn, star of the O’Neill-nominated “Paper Moon.” Will Portman take the lead while Moore competes to endorse the actress, or vice versa?

Francois Duhamel

With all this chatter about the two powerful women from “May-December,” Melton, best known as Reggie Mantle on the CW TV series “Riverdale,” almost stole the movie. The Best Supporting Actor category has been a welcome home for Hollywood newcomers and relative unknowns — like Troy Kotsur for “CODA” or Kodi Smit-McPhee for “The Power of the Dog” (2021). Milton’s choices to embody a man who never gets the chance to be a teenage boy are remarkably executed, which speaks to Haynes’ incredible touch with his actors and what he can get out of them.

It’s been 21 years since Haynes received his only Academy Award nomination for writing Far From Heaven. So how long will the Academy wait to get to know one of the greatest filmmakers alive? I hope it won’t be much longer than that.

The movie can find the most love from the members of the book branch. We know how much the Academy loves movies about movies, and a movie that follows an actor’s process can be the tipping point that pushes them into first consideration.

While the music is one of the film’s best features, it probably doesn’t qualify because it uses previously recorded material. Music branch rules state that a film must contain a minimum of 35% original music to qualify. However, you can still look for the film in the lists of other literal competitors, such as cinematography by Christopher Blauvelt and film editing by Afonso Gonsalves.

Fun fact: Will Ferrell, who was in attendance at the premiere, could have received his first Academy Award nomination as a film’s producer if it were nominated for Best Picture. But, of course, it’s a long way from May to December — on the awards scene, that is.

See also  'Risk!' Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings are regular hosts