Moments ago, the New York Film Festival announced that Todd Haynes will be back at the fest, this time with an Opening Night film. Yes, May December is going to open NYFF this year. Netflix picked the movie up out of the Cannes Film Festival, with obvious awards aspirations. Now, with it making a North American debut at NYFF, the next stage in that journey is set.
Here is the press release:
Film at Lincoln Center announces Todd Haynes’s May December as Opening Night of the 61st New York Film Festival, making its North American premiere at Alice Tully Hall on September 29 with the director and cast in person. Secure your ticket and more with Festival Passes, limited quantities on sale now. Single tickets go on sale September 19 at noon ET.
In May December, Elizabeth (Natalie Portman), a popular television star, has arrived in a tight-knit island community in Savannah. Here, she will be doing intimate research for a new part, ingratiating herself into the lives of Gracie (Julianne Moore), whom she’ll be playing on-screen, and her much younger husband, Joe (Charles Melton), to better understand the psychology and circumstances that more than 20 years ago made them notorious tabloid figures. As Elizabeth attempts to get closer to the family, the uncomfortable facts of their scandal unfurl, causing difficult, long-dormant emotions to resurface. From the sensational premise of first time screenwriter Samy Burch’s brilliantly subtle script, director Todd Haynes (Safe, Carol) has constructed an American tale of astonishing richness and depth, which touches the pressure and pleasure points of a culture obsessed equally with celebrity and trauma. It’s a feat of storytelling and pinpoint-precise tone that is shrewd in its wicked embrace of melodrama while also genuinely moving in its humane treatment of tricky subject matter. Boasting a trio of bravura, mercurial performances by Moore, Portman, and Melton, May December is a film about human exploitation, the elusive nature of performance, and the slipperiness of truth that confirms Todd Haynes’s status as one of our consummate movie artists. The film will be released domestically, in theaters November 17 and on Netflix December 1.
“We are all so proud and moved to have been invited to open the New York Film Festival with the North American premiere of May December,” said director Todd Haynes. “It is a festival that plays a role in my work and life like no other in the world, since it enshrines the cultural life of this city, which is both my creative home as a filmmaker and, as ever, the eternal site of artistic possibility.”
“May December is a tour de force of writing, acting, and directing: a film built on moment-to-moment surprise, as thought-provoking as it is purely pleasurable,” said Dennis Lim, Artistic Director, New York Film Festival. “It cements Todd Haynes’s place as one of American cinema’s most brilliant mischief-makers and as an all-time great director of actors. Todd has been a consistent presence at the New York Film Festival for almost his entire career, and we are very excited to open this edition with one of his most dazzling achievements.”
Passionate about the visual arts since childhood, Todd Haynes studied art and semiotics at Brown University. In 1987, he created the short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story with Barbie dolls. Since then, he has tirelessly continued to address questions of gender and identity. His first feature film Poison, inspired by Jean Genet, won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and was released in 1991. After Safe (1995), starring Julianne Moore, he conjured David Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust period in Velvet Goldmine (NYFF36), then paid homage to Douglas Sirk in Far from Heaven (2002). In 2006, he had six actors play Bob Dylan in I’m Not There (NYFF45). He then directed the HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce before returning to feature films with Carol (NYFF53), Wonderstruck (NYFF55 Centerpiece Selection), Dark Waters, and the documentary The Velvet Underground (NYFF59).
Campari®, the iconic Milanese red aperitivo, is returning for the fifth year serving as the Exclusive Spirits Partner for the 61st New York Film Festival and the Presenting Partner of Opening Night, underscoring its continued commitment to the world of film.
The NYFF Main Slate selection committee, chaired by Dennis Lim, also includes Florence Almozini, Justin Chang, K. Austin Collins, and Rachel Rosen.
Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema and takes place September 29–October 15, 2023. An annual bellwether of the state of cinema that has shaped film culture since 1963, the festival continues an enduring tradition of introducing audiences to bold and remarkable works from celebrated filmmakers, as well as fresh new talent.
Secure your Opening Night tickets and more with Festival Passes, limited quantities on sale now.
NYFF61 single tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, September 19 at noon ET, with pre-sale access for FLC Members and Pass holders prior to this date. Save 10% on FLC Memberships through this Thursday, July 13 only with the code HAYNES––eligible for new, renewing, and lapsed Members at Friend and Angel levels. NYFF61 press and industry accreditation opens July 31.
New York Film Festival Opening Night Films
2022 White Noise (Noah Baumbach, US) 2021 The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, US) 2020 Lovers Rock (Steve McQueen, UK) 2019 The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, US)
2018 The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, Ireland/UK/US)
2017 Last Flag Flying (Richard Linklater,US) 2016 13TH (Ava DuVernay, US)
2015 The Walk (Robert Zemeckis, US)
2014 Gone Girl (David Fincher, US)
2013 Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass, US)
2012 Life of Pi (Ang Lee, US)
2011 Carnage (Roman Polanski, France/Poland)
2010 The Social Network (David Fincher, US)
2009 Wild Grass (Alain Resnais, France)
2008 The Class (Laurent Cantet, France)
2007 The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, US)
2006 The Queen (Stephen Frears, UK)
2005 Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney, US)
2004 Look at Me (Agnès Jaoui, France)
2003 Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, US)
2002 About Schmidt (Alexander Payne, US)
2001 Va savoir (Jacques Rivette, France)
2000 Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, Denmark)
1999 All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1998 Celebrity (Woody Allen, US)
1997 The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, US)
1996 Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, UK)
1995 Shanghai Triad (Zhang Yimou, China)
1994 Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, US)
1993 Short Cuts (Robert Altman, US)
1992 Olivier Olivier (Agnieszka Holland, France)
1991 The Double Life of Véronique (Krzysztof Kieślowski, Poland/France)
1990 Miller’s Crossing (Joel Coen, US)
1989 Too Beautiful for You (Bertrand Blier, France)
1988 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1987 Dark Eyes (Nikita Mikhalkov, Soviet Union)
1986 Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch, US)
1985 Ran (Akira Kurosawa, Japan)
1984 Country (Richard Pearce, US)
1983 The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, US)
1982 Veronika Voss (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany)
1981 Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, UK)
1980 Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, US)
1979 Luna (Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy/US)
1978 A Wedding (Robert Altman, US)
1977 One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Agnès Varda, France)
1976 Small Change (François Truffaut, France)
1975 Conversation Piece (Luchino Visconti, Italy)
1974 Don’t Cry with Your Mouth Full (Pascal Thomas, France)
1973 Day for Night (François Truffaut, France)
1972 Chloe in the Afternoon (Eric Rohmer, France)
1971 The Debut (Gleb Panfilov, Soviet Union)
1970 The Wild Child (François Truffaut, France)
1969 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Paul Mazursky, US)
1968 Capricious Summer (Jiri Menzel, Czechoslovakia)
1967 The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy/Algeria)
1966 Loves of a Blonde (Milos Forman, Czechoslovakia)
1965 Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, France)
1964 Hamlet (Grigori Kozintsev, Soviet Union)
1963 The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, Mexico)