In Todd Haynes’ Netflix drama “Might December,” the topic of a decades-old tabloid intercourse scandal is visited by a well-known actress set to painting her in a movie.
Julianne Moore performs Gracie Atherton-Yoo, who was 36 years outdated when she was caught having intercourse with Joe, a 13-year-old boy who labored together with her at a pet retailer. After having his first youngster from behind bars, Gracie started her life with Joe (Charles Melton), who’s now the identical age Gracie was after they first met. Gracie and Joe have three kids collectively, the youngest of them about to graduate highschool, and are settling into quiet suburban life when Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman) arrives at their waterfront dwelling to check her topic and stir issues up.
If the story feels ripped from the headlines, that’s as a result of the movie is loosely impressed by the Mary Kay Letourneau tabloid scandal of the late-Nineteen Nineties. Letourneau was a 34-year-old Elementary faculty instructor who initiated a sexual relationship together with her 12-year-old pupil, Vili Fualaau. After a nine-month affair with Fualaau, Letournau was arrested and pleaded responsible to 2 counts of second-degree youngster rape. She gave start to Fualaau’s first youngster in 1997, whereas awaiting sentencing, and so they had a second youngster collectively in 1998, whereas Letourneau served a 7.5-year jail sentence. Letournau married Fualaau in 2005, when the latter was 21. The 2 remained married till 2019, and Letourneau died one yr later at age 58 from most cancers.
The scandal prompted a TV film that aired in 2000 on the USA Community, starring Penelope Ann Miller as Letourneau and Omar Anguiano as Fualaau. Letourneau cooperated with the producers on the movie and even spoke with Miller over the telephone to supply perception into the position.
In directing “Might December,” Haynes mentioned he initially tried to disregard the similarities between the movie and the real-life Letourneau scandal.
“I actually began by pushing that to the facet and simply being like, OK, let’s bear down on the precise decisions and the distinctions that Samy Burch’s script makes from the Mary Kay Letourneau story,” Haynes mentioned in an interview with The Every day Beast. “However there was no manner finally to not.”
Whereas Haynes holds that Letourneau “was fairly a special character than Gracie,” he added, “there have been issues that had been actually useful concerning the specificity of Mary Kay Letourneau.” One instance is their voices, as Gracie has a noticeable lisp that fluctuates all through the movie.
“Mary Kay Letourneau has this fascinating kind of lazy tongue,” Haynes mentioned. “That’s the supply of the lisp.”
Within the movie, Gracie is described as “unapologetic” and consistently reminds Elizabeth that she is “safe” in her life decisions. Letourneau placed on an identical facade, saying in a 2018 A&E Community biography particular, “Am I sorry he’s the daddy of my kids, and that we’re married and that is the person of my life? No, I’m not.”
One other facet of “Might December” that mirrors the lifetime of Letourneau is the dynamic between the ladies’s older and youthful kids. In “Might December,” Gracie has three kids with Joe, plus extra together with her ex-husband, Tom (D.W Moffett). Her older and youthful kids, who’ve an ungainly encounter at a restaurant, are almost 20 years aside. Letourneau equally had 4 children together with her first husband, Steve Letourneau, after which two extra with Fualaau. Her youngest youngster was born in 1998, and her oldest grandchild was born in 2010.
Within the 2018 particular, Letournau mentioned, “My oldest kids, they’ve come to know Vili, and so they’ve at all times recognized me. They’re grown-ups, and so they have impartial lives, however within the first years they wished to be collectively.”
“Might December” is streaming now on Netflix.