My favorite thing about being active on social media is seeing which shows and movies become internet trends and trying to decipher why. Well the latest movie getting buzz on TikTok is May December recently released on Netflix. Though it is not a movie that I would normally be interested in watching, streaming service movies are eligible for Oscars so I must do my due diligence. So here we are, my review of Netflix’s May December.
Well first of all the casting is perfect for what the movie was trying to accomplish. Reggie Mantle from Riverdale proves that it was in fact just the show and that he can act. I like that the cast of Riverdale has branched out and displayed their actual abilities. Julianne Moore was a great choice because not only is the age difference extremely clear but she portrayed Gracie really well. Gracie is obviously psychotic and Moore does a great job of showing the mental instability.
The rest of the neighborhood being just chill with this ridiculous and disgusting couple might actually be more disturbing then the couple themselves.
This woman also still treats her now husband like he’s still a child. She very much controls everything he does. From counting how many beers he’s had at the very beginning to the crying when he gets into bed smelling smoky. He is communicating with someone who is obviously not Gracie, and he seems very closed off and depressed. It's pretty clear to the audience that he feels trapped and he’s starting to question all of the choices that got him there. His communication is also obviously stunted and he’s clearly unhappy. She has groomed him so specifically, and in their major fight scene in the bedroom you can see this very clearly. She gaslights him, she manipulates him and yells when he tries to question her.
The style of this is very made for tv movie. The cinematography style and truly horrible music is very similar just with better acting. The music choices were very weird. Like it was meant to increase the overall intensity and sense of unease but it really was so over the top that it kind of stepped on the point of the movie as a whole.
I will say that I liked the approach the movie took to this story. I don’t think anyone needed or wanted to see a play by play of the actual relationship. Looking back as a retrospective and watching him realize that he was too young to actually make these decisions was really important. It was really difficult to watch, but in the same way that Pricilla was really difficult to watch. The story is an important one and it's not meant to be comfortable.
The other quality issue that I had was that there was so much unresolved. We follow the actress as opposed to him and I think that would have been more impactful. If it was from his perspective or at least followed his story and emotions a little closer. Because after that last fight and watching his kids graduate we don’t see him again and I really wish that they would have shown him leaving or getting help or something that showed the audience that he was breaking free.
I think the movie was fine, but the content aside the quality was nothing more than mediocre. And I know there has been a lot of Oscar buzz around this movie from the general public but the reality is that nothing in this film was remarkable. And I genuinely don’t anticipate any academy recognition.