Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore shine in Cannes with

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore are the best of “May December”, a film by Todd Hayne in the Cannes competition about limits in love and relationships, about what is or is not appropriate.

“At what age of life do we consider that a relationship is not appropriate? There are many examples that we could cite and that is why human beings set limits, but in this film we see that the character of Gracie transgresses that line.“, Moore explained at a press conference about his character.

Gracie is a 59-year-old woman who is married to Joe (Charles Melton), with whom she has been in a relationship since he was 13 years old. And Portman is Elizabeth, a well-known actress who is going to star in a movie about the couple’s history, so she travels to Maine to meet them and be part of her lives for a few days.

A tense film in which the characters “don’t know where their social and emotional limits are”, highlighted Moore, who assured that it is something that is “scary”.

For Todd the problem in the couple is not the age difference: “There have been very problematic aspects since the beginning of this relationship that ends in a confrontation at the end between Gracie and Joe”.

“It is complex because that relationship has survived the scandal of the age difference, they have had three children… The age difference is a transgression but also an opportunity to turn towards ourselves,” reflected the filmmaker.

In this regard, Moore highlighted the importance of “asking ourselves who we really are but also who we are based on what society imposes on us.”

Natalie Portman during the Cannes Film Festival.

Natalie Portman during the Cannes Film Festival.AFP/Valery HACHE

Being completely free is something impossible in today’s society, “which imposes what we are,” highlighted the actress, whose character is a woman who feels inferior to men and who has always defined herself based on what they have thought -father brothers or husbands- of her.

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Portman delved into this question and highlighted that we all behave differently depending on where and who we are with. “Here – as actresses in Cannes – we act differently than we would outside, as women.”

“There are different expectations depending on where we are and we are always defined by the social structure that is imposed on us,” he added.

This is why the relationship between Gracie and Joe is considered out of the ordinary. So much so that the title of the film -“May December”- makes precise reference to an American expression used for couples in which there is a great difference in age.

“Some people call that in France a ‘Macron,'” said the filmmaker, referring to the 24 years that separated the French president from his wife, Brigitte.

A film with two “extremely complex female characters, who are both conflicted and delicious, full of love”in the words of Portman, for whom “it’s incredible to have seen Todd Haynes’ vision of women.”

All these themes fly over a film in which Todd has sought to leave things out so that the public “can fill in those spaces” and which is his fifth collaboration with Julianne Moore.

“I feel like I understand Todd, his point of view, I immediately understand the way a film should be shot (…) I’ve been very lucky to have been able to work with him for a long time,” said Moore, who worked for the first time with Hayne in “Safe” (1995).

“I think she knows me, she understands things that I don’t even understand, we have a very close relationship (…) There is always something that I cannot determine or see and that is later in the film thanks to her, to her intuition and I have perceived from the beginning of our collaboration”, pointed out the director.

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