May December (2023)

Directed by Todd Haynes

Twenty years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, a married couple buckles under pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a film about their past.

Given that this film, in Paul Thompson's words, is "both a satire of the true crime and docudrama properties that have come to swallow our entertainment ecosystems," combined with the fact that I have never exposed myself to any of that world (ignoring the very first season of Serial...), I was simply left out of the whole joke… thus the film was just one long curious artistic choice after another. That's not to say May December wasn't interesting to watch: there is some obvious craft at work here. It's just that, the title aside, the film isn't all that interested in the age gap to begin with (or at least in the way that Gen Z might be), and nobody in the movie seems to be having fun. And moreover that, absent the signifié of knowing what this was satirising, watching two hours of pure signifiant was just a little bit alienating.