May December movie review - Aussieboyreviews


The delightful cast shine in this overhyped character studying drama relating to sexual abuse and childhood trauma. Unfortunately, May December never picks its pacing up off the ground and doesn’t move forward in its plausible story.


An actress arrives at the home of a couple whose tabloid romance shocked the nation two decades ago in order to do research on them for a film she’s starring in about their past.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Todd Haynes
Cast: Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, Charles Melton, Andrea Frankle
Writer: Samy Burch
Release Date (Australia): 1 February 2024
Runtime: 117 minutes/1h 57m
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (M)

The film contains themes of and frequent verbal references to child sexual abuse, childhood trauma and emotional manipulation.

Coarse Language (M)

The film contains occasional use of the word “f**k”, as well as use of the word “s**t”.

Drug Use (PG)

The film contains a scene in which two characters share a marijuana joint.

Nudity (M)

The film contains male buttocks nudity and a brief depiction of full frontal male nudity.

Sex (MA15+)

The film contains a strong sex scene and verbal sexual references.

mpaa rating

R (for some sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language)

Aussie boy's thoughts

May December didn’t really do anything memorable or just simply move forward with its plot; I found that the biggest step forward it took in its story was with the assistance of a sex scene somewhere towards the end. This movie makes the tragic mistake of never utilising its talented performers and not transferring from its first act to second. I can enjoy a slow-burn drama centred alone on conversations between its characters, but I want to be able to care enough to feel captivated in the dialogue. Many movies do that extremely well, 12 Angry Men being the first in mind, but I’ll forget this Oscar-baiting piece of women talking as soon as I’m done talking about it.

Firstly, you have missed opportunities. Alike almost every other film, May December has a plot synopsis: an actress arrives at the home of a couple whose tabloid romance shocked the nation two decades ago in order to do research on them for a film she’s starring in about their past. Unfortunately, this is as far as the premise goes, because the rest of the movie drags out boringly doing pretty much nothing. You’ve also got the fact that it’s basically a character study, but only done by Natalie Portman’s character and not the film itself. I think this movie would’ve actually worked out quite interestingly as a character study, but the acting does overshadow that to an extent. This is where I thought the film really faltered, but there’re still a few things I can respect.

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore are those small shiny glimmers of hope you would see at the end of a dark tunnel, the dark enclosed tunnel being the script. If you continue to read reviews however, you’ll find that many admire Charles Melton as the stand-out among the cast. Through his character, themes relating to childhood trauma and the effect it has on a person’s life are able to surface, making for the aspect of the film that I found most interesting. Again though, May December could have truly been a masterpiece if it simply did something with its premise, and it would work even better if the characters were more fleshed out for viewers to understand them better.

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