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Women at Cannes are expected to behave differently than men says Natalie Portman

May December, a new film showcased at the Cannes Film Festival, explores a scandalous relationship with a significant age gap. Directed by Todd Haynes, the star-studded romantic drama features Julianne Moore as December and Charles Melton as May, who fell in love when May was only 13 years old.

Moore acknowledged the complex nature of their dynamic due to the age at which they initially met. During the press conference, she discussed the distinction between an age gap and a relationship between an adult and a child. Moore emphasized the importance of appropriate boundaries, particularly when individuals are at different stages of development. The movie feels unsettling because the characters’ boundaries are unclear, contributing to the sense of danger.

In May December, Natalie Portman portrays an actress studying the life of Moore’s character in preparation for a film role. Moore and Melton play a married couple who faced a scandalous tabloid controversy due to their 20-year age gap. As Portman delves into their past, the family dynamic becomes strained as their twin daughters prepare for college.

Portman mentioned the abundance of tabloid materials available for inspiration, noting a book with a provocative title like “Punished for Love.” These resources provided background information for the film’s exploration of scandal, tapping into America’s fascination with such stories.

Describing the movie as an examination of the various roles individuals assume in different environments, Portman highlighted the disparities between men and women, particularly evident at the Cannes Film Festival. She pointed out the expectations placed on women, including the requirement to wear heels on the red carpet. Portman highlighted the influence of social structures on behavior and self-perception, whether individuals conform to or reject these expectations. The festival serves as a microcosm reflecting the different standards and pressures imposed on women.

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