music friday: end of the year
television 2023

geezer cinema: may december (todd haynes, 2023)

The last Geezer Cinema movie of 2023, 51 films, from Bessie to May December. It was a good one to go out on, with some fine acting and an intriguing, almost horror-film approach. Not that it follows standard horror tropes. But Natalie Portman pulls off a fascinating transformation with her character, Elizabeth, an actress doing background research for her latest project, where she plays a Mary Kay Letourneau-like woman (herself played in this movie by Julianne Moore).

Todd Haynes doesn't go overboard on the sensational aspects of the story (Letourneau, and Moore's character here, "Gracie", has an affair with a young student that results in her going to jail for rape, after which she married the kid and had a family with him). At least as I saw it, the most interesting thing in the movie was watching Portman/Elizabeth gradually taking on the mannerisms of Gracie/Moore. It sneaks up on you, but it would make a fine double-bill with Bergman's Persona or my beloved Performance. Portman's performance is quite sly ... apparently Julianne Moore did not notice Natalie Portman was improvising by mimicking her mannerisms in some scenes until later into filming. Near the end, Portman reads an old letter that had been written by Gracie, and at that point, she is completely channeling Moore. It's quite a depiction of the process of acting, at least one kind of acting.

Here's a summary of Geezer 2023:

Longest: Killers of the Flower Moon.

Shortest: Bottoms and The Royal Hotel.

Favorites: The Shape of Water, E.T., Walkabout.

Least Favorite: Black Adam

Favorites from 2023: Past Lives, Barbie, Oppenheimer, Killers of the Flower Moon, Anatomy of a Fall, Godzilla Minus One, The Boy and the Heron

And here is the complete list of all 221 Geezer movies (and counting) since the first one on July 9, 2019:

[Letterboxd list of Geezer Cinema movies]


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