Stars: Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, Charles Melton, Elizabeth Yu, Gabriel Chung
Todd Haynes reunites with Julianne Moore to deliver his best film since ‘Carol’. She is Gracie, a middle-class housewife and part-time cake maker, who is married to the handsome and much younger Korean American Joe (Melton). They have twins who are about to start college. The actress, Elizabeth Berry (Portman) has come to their house in Savannah to question and study Gracie and her family and friends for a film about her life. It is revealed that Gracie was involved in a scandal some years earlier which generated acres of tabloid coverage, and Elizabeth’s intrusion causes serious problems to the married couple. This is a slow-burning and deliciously acid noir, served up in suburban pastels, which sees the director examining notions of identity, performance and guilt, while nodding to Almodóvar’s work in its unlikely melodramatic plot, and Bergman’s ‘Persona’ in its visuals and study of the permeability of identity. Moore is fantastic, her character an intriguing combo of wiliness and emotional chilliness, but she also provides some tart laughs, particularly in a moment of sudden revelation, augmented by a cheeky crash zoom from the director.
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