Todd Haynes’ May December could best be described as a pseudo-thriller, documenting the bizarre relationship between characters Gracie Atherton-Yoo and Joe Yoo. So, naturally, the blockbuster’s leading stars in Julianne Moore, Charles Melton, and Natalie Portman looked every bit of that genre as they stepped out for film’s the premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Let’s begin with Moore, who plays the lead role of Atherton-Yoo. The actress looked like a true Hollywood veteran, dazzling in a satin number from Prada. The off-the-shoulder gown was relatively simple, with the focus being on its fire engine red color. Moore tucked her signature red hair behind her ears and rounded out the look with a selection of Cartier jewels.
Her co-star Melton offered a chic, and slightly edgy, take on the traditional menswear red carpet look. The actor stepped out in an all-black look from Balenciaga’s winter 2023 collection consisting of a longline tailored coat, undershirt, and wide-legged parachute pants. Portman continued with Melton’s monochrome palette in an even riskier choice from Schiaparelli.
The 42-year-old hit the step and repeat in an ultra-mini ensemble from the Italian brand’s spring/summer 2024 offering. The structured piece was designed in a reflective, shimmering fabric and featured a plunging neckline and scalloped hemline. The focal point, though, was a sea urchin-like applique fixed to the top portion of the bodice. Portman kept styling to a minimum, opting for black sandal heels and a coral lip.
It’s been, what feels like, quite some time since we’ve had all of a film’s stars (if any) in one place at the same time—due to the SAG-AFTRA strike that halted all promotional activity. And it’s quite fitting that the cast of May December delivered in the way that they did at the premiere—they each represent a specific era of Hollywood. Moore, the veteran, Portman, the contemporary, and Melton (of Riverdale fame), the rising star.
That contrast seems to have made for an interesting blend on the screen, too. The film tells the story of Atherton-Yoo who lives in the suburbs with her husband, Joe (Melton), who she groomed when he was 13 (a situation loosely based on Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau). Elizabeth, played by Portman, arrives to town to study Atherton-Yoo for an upcoming role in a biopic about the family.
“I think that Samy Burch, who wrote the script, her decision to start it 20 years after the tabloid events was an amazing decision,” Portman said. “It allows you to see what happens after, and what happens to their lives and the stories they tell and what’s true and what’s not.”