HomeChévere reportsNatalie Portman and Julianne Moore tell the 'Secrets of a scandal'

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore tell the 'Secrets of a scandal'

A famous television actress travels to Giorgia to meet the woman she will play in a movie, a person who ended up in jail for having been sexually involved with a minor under 13 years old. That is the basis of 'Secrets of a Scandal' (May December), a film that has found a new life in streaming and that finds its great strength in its protagonists.

Available in Latin America on the Prime Video platform, the film has the skillful direction of Todd Haynes ('I'm Not There', 'Carol'), and highlights impeccable performances by Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman and Charles Melton as the victims. victimizers of this strange and uncomfortable story.

The film, which was critically acclaimed at the time, is further proof of Haynes's ability to explore complex female characters, as well as extremely complicated and dysfunctional relationships.

Of real life

'Secrets of a Scandal' is inspired by the true story of Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau. The couple met when she was a teacher and he was in second grade. Letourneau became pregnant with Fualaau when he was only 13 years old.

Convicted of rape, she was released after only three months, but immediately violated parole by becoming pregnant with Fualaau's second child. In 2005, after serving a seven-year sentence, during which she continued her relationship with Fualaau, Ella Letourneau married him. The couple separated from her in 2019, shortly before her death due to her cancer.

The story of both quickly entered the popular imagination of the United States, becoming material for tabloids, television movies and the occasional series, in which the morbidity of the relationship was exploited.

'Secrets of a Scandal', lasting one hour and 57 minutes, is not a strict account of this story, but rather takes the basics to assemble its skeleton and develop a proposal that explores the moral ambiguity and superficiality with which it is They deal with the issues of pedophilia and abuse.

The plot

Actress Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman), famous for her work on television, moves to Savannah, Georgia, to meet and study Gracie Atherton (Julianne Moore), whom she will play in an upcoming independent film project. The film, and Gracie as her character, represent to her the success she needs to further her career.

Atherton, who presents herself as a simple housewife focused on having the perfect home, is relevant because at the age of 36, she began a sexual relationship with Joe Yoo (Charles Melton), her son's 13-year-old friend. Gracie got pregnant, she went to jail, she had the baby behind bars. After serving his sentence, and once Joe was of age, the two married to raise not only their firstborn, Honor (Gaitero Curda), but their twin children, Charlie (Gabriel Chung) and Mary (Elizabeth Yu ), who were born several years later.

Now, set in 2015, Honor is in college and Charlie and Mary are about to graduate high school. Gracie, who is approaching 60 years old, and Joe, in his 30s, have been together for more than two decades. They seem to be happily married until Elizabeth starts picking at unhealed wounds.

with distance

It should be noted that Todd Haynes' lens intentionally avoids demonizing the characters in 'Secrets of a Scandal', while revealing the psychological damage they suffer, wounds that remained hidden until something brought them to the foreground (that catalyst, in this case, is Elizabeth).

“Part of what makes (this story) so interesting is how it is set 23 years after this relationship first occurred. You are digging it. There is no doubt that the fact that these are women in sexual agenda positions contributes to their own sense of not knowing how to feel,” Todd Haynes told Vulture at the time.

"You want to be on the side of desire-driven women and want to bring fresh relationships into their lives, and you're also aware of how differently a man would be treated after straying from his marriage and pursuing his sexual desires, even with someone minor, how do we accept that socially. On the other hand, something doesn't also say: 'No, she completely abused her power over this guy. But how horrified society was by all this. It is difficult not to attribute that, to a certain extent, to the fact that it was a woman who did it,” the filmmaker also highlighted.

In 'Secrets of a Scandal', Haynes mixes melodrama with elements of satire and a histrionic soundtrack that almost becomes another character. Portman, who plays Elizabeth with Machiavellian precision, and Moore, like a fish in water in her melodramatic character, successfully build a love-hate relationship that goes beyond the screen, while Melton, very far from his beginnings in 'Riverdale', manages to present the portrait of uh unhappy man who is only now aware of the toxicity of his relationship.

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