May December Parents Guide

May December,” a 2023 American black comedy-drama film directed by Todd Haynes and penned by Samy Burch, tells the story of an actress (Natalie Portman) delving into the life of a controversial figure (Julianne Moore) she is slated to portray in a film. Loosely inspired by the narrative of Mary Kay Letourneau, the film was announced in June 2021, with Portman and Moore confirmed in the cast. Filming occurred in the fall of 2022 in Savannah, Georgia.

The movie premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2023, where Netflix secured distribution rights in a landmark $11 million deal, marking the festival’s largest transaction. “May December” hit select theaters in the United States on November 17, 2023, and subsequently streamed on Netflix starting December 1, 2023. Critics have praised the film for its compelling narrative and performances.

May December Movie Details

Movie NameMay December
GenreDrama, Romance
DirectorTodd Haynes
ProducerJessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Grant S. Johnson, Pamela Koffler, Tyler W. Konney, Sophie Mas, Natalie Portman, Christine Vachon
WriterSamy Burch
Release Date (Streaming)Dec 1, 2023
Runtime1h 53m

The Plot Summary:

May December” unfolds two decades after the nation was captivated by the tabloid romance of Gracie Atherton-Yu and her husband Joe, who, at twenty-three years her junior, find themselves at a significant juncture in their lives. With their twins on the cusp of high school graduation, the couple braces for the next chapter. The arrival of Hollywood actress Elizabeth Berry, tasked with portraying Gracie in an upcoming film, sets the stage for a profound exploration of family dynamics.

As Elizabeth immerses herself in the Atherton-Yu family’s daily life in the picturesque and comfortable town of Camden, Maine, the intricacies of their relationships surface. The scrutiny from an outsider prompts a reevaluation of their roles, and the pressure exposes cracks in the seemingly idyllic facade. Gracie and Joe navigate the challenges of impending empty-nest syndrome, with Joe, at thirty-six, confronting the reality of a life without the constant presence of their children.

The film delves into the uncharted territory of Joe’s past, an aspect he has never fully processed. The narrative unravels his journey, offering a poignant exploration of how unresolved issues from youth can resurface when faced with the transitions of adulthood. The Atherton-Yu household becomes a crucible of emotions, blending nostalgia, anticipation, and the unavoidable pang of change.

Elizabeth, the Hollywood actress, becomes a catalyst for introspection as she attempts to unravel the layers of Gracie’s life. The parallel study between the two women becomes a mirror reflecting not only the similarities but also the profound differences that shape their identities. The film weaves a delicate tapestry of shared experiences and divergent paths, exploring the complexities of truth, storytelling, and the inherent challenges in fully comprehending another person.

Set against the backdrop of Camden’s serene landscapes, “May December” transforms the town into more than just a location; it becomes a character in itself, influencing and witnessing the unfolding drama. The film captures the essence of small-town life while delving into universal themes of love, aging, and the perpetual quest for understanding.

As the narrative progresses, “May December” unfolds as more than a mere exploration of a tabloid romance or the dynamics of a unique family. It evolves into a meditation on the intrinsic difficulty, and at times, impossibility of fully comprehending the depths of another person’s life. The film challenges preconceptions, blurs the lines between truth and perception, and invites the audience to contemplate the intricacies of human connection.

In the end, “May December” stands not only as a story of a specific family in a particular town but as a reflection of the broader human experience — a poignant and thought-provoking journey through the complexities of life, love, and the ever-elusive pursuit of understanding.

May December Parents Guide

Why is May December rated R?

May December” has been rated R by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) due to its inclusion of some sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use, and language.

The R rating is typically assigned to films that may contain material that some parents might find unsuitable for children under 17. It indicates that the content may be intense or explicit, and parental guidance is suggested for viewers under the age of 17.

Sexual Content:

“May December” features explicit scenes with sexual content, portraying intimate moments between characters. The nature of these scenes is mature and may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Graphic Nudity:

The film includes instances of explicit nudity, going beyond mild or implied depictions. Viewer discretion is advised, especially for audiences sensitive to nudity.

Drug Use:

The narrative involves the portrayal of drug use, contributing to the R rating. Scenes may depict characters engaging in substance use or being around drug-related elements.


Throughout the movie, strong language is used, contributing to the R rating. The inclusion of explicit language may be inappropriate for viewers under 17.

Parental Advice

May December” is a thought-provoking drama with mature themes and explicit content. The R rating is reflective of the film’s exploration of complex relationships, intimate moments, and the use of strong language. Parental guidance is strongly recommended, and parents are encouraged to assess whether the content aligns with their comfort levels and the maturity of their teenagers

Who is in the cast of May December ?

Here’s the cast list for May December:

  • Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry
  • Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo
  • Charles Melton as Joe Yoo
  • D. W. Moffett as Tom
  • Piper Curda as Honor
  • Elizabeth Yu as Mary
  • Gabriel Chung as Charlie
  • Cory Michael Smith
  • Lawrence Arancio


May December” is a 2023 black comedy-drama directed by Todd Haynes, starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore. The film explores the life of a controversial figure, loosely inspired by Mary Kay Letourneau. Filmed in 2022, it premiered at Cannes in May 2023, with Netflix securing distribution rights for $11 million. The story, set in Camden, Maine, unfolds two decades after a tabloid romance, focusing on Gracie Atherton-Yu and husband Joe. Hollywood actress Elizabeth Berry, played by Portman, enters their lives, unraveling family dynamics and exploring themes of love, aging, and understanding. With an R rating for explicit content, the film hit U.S. theaters on November 17, 2023, and Netflix on December 1, 2023. Critics praised its narrative and performances, making it a thought-provoking drama recommended for mature audiences.Top of Form