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Todd Haynes’ May December with Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman Wraps

Haynes shot the drama in Georgia, with cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt replacing Ed Lachman, who broke his hip during the production of a Pablo Larraín film.

Todd Haynes has officially wrapped up production on his 10th feature film, May December, a drama about two women whose personal and professional lives begin to blur these sounds very Todd Haynes indeed. (Imagine Persona meets Three Women.) A source close to the production confirmed to IndieWire that principal photography wrapped last weekend in Georgia, where the film was shot in the Savannah area. The film stars Julianne Moore (reunited with Haynes after collaborations such as ‘Safe’, ‘Wonderstruck’ and ‘Far from Heaven’) and Natalie Portman (first time working with the Oscar-nominated filmmaker).

Based on a blacklisted screenplay by Samy Burch with a story by Burch and Alex Mechanik, May December follows a married couple whose life falls apart under pressure when an actress arrives to research a film about their past — including the couple’s infamous May-December tabloid romance that once gripped the nation. Also joining the cast is Charles Melton (“Riverdale”), with Killer Films producing the latest Haynes joint as usual.

This time, Haynes was unable to work with his regular cinematographer Ed Lachman because the Oscar-nominated cinematographer of Carol and Far from Heaven broke his hip while filming a Pablo Larraín film in Chile earlier this year. “I just got home from Chile to do a movie with Pablo Larraín and unfortunately I broke my hip,” Lachman told Variety this month. Lachman had directed the Spencer and Jackie director’s vampire film El Conde.

“May December” was instead directed by Christopher Blauvelt, a regular cinematographer for Kelly Reichardt, a longtime friend of Haynes’s who dates back to their days romping around New Queer Cinema in the early 1990s. Blauvelt directed several of Reichardt’s films, including this year’s Showing Up, as well as First Cow, Night Moves, and Meek’s Cutoff.

“What struck me about Samy Burch’s extraordinary script was how it navigated potentially explosive issues with a kind of observational patience that allowed the characters in the story to be explored with unusual subtlety,” Haynes recently told The Film Stage Festivals release of his 2002 Douglas Sirk tribute Far From Heaven.

Next, May December is probably gearing up for Cannes, where Haynes has long been a mainstay with films like Wonderstruck and Carol, which won Rooney Mara for Best Actress on the Croisette in 2015. Here’s the synopsis for May December: “Twenty years after their infamous tabloid romance swept the nation, Gracie Atherton-Yu and her husband Joe (23 years her junior) prepare for their twins to graduate high finish school. When Hollywood actress Elizabeth Berry arrives to spend time with family to better understand Gracie, who will play her in a film, the family dynamic unravels under the pressure of the outside gaze. Joe, who never came to terms with what happened when he was young, begins to face the reality of life as empty nesters at 36.”

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