May December: how to watch, reviews, awards and everything we know about the Natalie Portman movie

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore stand next to each other in May December
Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, May December (Image credit: Cr. Francois Duhamel / courtesy of Netflix)

After a successful run on the festival circuit, May December was picked up by Netflix. The Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore romantic drama has had a brief theatrical and has now hit the streaming platform to watch at home. Full details on that just below as well as everything we know about May December.

Quick links

Art reflects life and life reflects art in Todd Haynes' controversial Oscar-nominated drama based on the Mary Kay Letourneau scandal. Natalie Portman stars as Elizabeth, whose up-close study of Gracie (Julianne Moore) in preparation for an acting role forces Joe (Charles Melton) to confront his long-repressed trauma all over again.

How to watch May December on Netflix

In the US, and many other countries, May December is available to watch on Netflix. The movie was released on the platform on Friday, December 1.

Watch on Netflix from anywhere with a VPN

You can watch May December on any of the streaming services above by using a VPN – no matter where you are in the world!

Normally a streaming service will know where you are trying to tune in from and block you if you're not in the right country but a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an app that hides your location. That means you can access your usual sports and entertainment services even while you're traveling abroad.

One option is NordVPN, which is one of the top rated VPNs in the world right now according to our sister site, TechRadar.

How to use a VPN to watch any stream

  • Download the app at NordVPN
  • Choose the location of the streaming service you want to watch (UK, US, etc)
  • Navigate to the streaming service and start watching!
Watch May December as if you were at home with a VPN

Watch May December as if you were at home with a VPN
Offering a 30-day money back guarantee, try out NordVPN, the best VPN for unblocking Netflix, and stream from any device, including your mobile or tablet, laptop, TV, or gaming console. Also boasting some top of the class security, it's a no brainer. Run into any problems? NordVPN has an excellent customer support team on hand 24/7.

How to watch May December in the UK

Anybody looking to watch May December in the UK can do so with a Sky TV subscription.

To watch the film, you need to be on the Sky Stream, Sky Cinema, Sky TV & Netflix tier, which costs £41 per month for a monthly contract or £36 per month if you lock into an 18-month plan.

Can you watch May December in Australia?

At the time of writing there's no word on when May December will be available for streaming in Australia, however audiences Down Under can see the Oscar contender in cinemas from February 1. 

May December plot

Here's the official synopsis of May December from Netflix: "Twenty years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, a married couple buckles under the pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a film about their past."

In 1997, Letourneau pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree child rape, having initiated a relationship with her school pupil, Vili Fualaau, a year earlier. Letourneau was 34 and Fualaau – who would go on to wrestle depression and substance abuse – was 12 when she seduced him, and during the trial she gave birth to the first of two children they'd have together. The second was born when she was in prison.

Some details have been changed, but Gracie and Joe are essentially Letourneau and Fualaau, and May December follows Elizabeth's self-serving ploy to harvest the situation for industry accolades, with little consideration for the effect it might have on Joe and the children.

That Fualaau has since said that he wasn't consulted on the project has added an unwanted further layer to the film which has been acclaimed by critics and will be up for the Best Original Screenplay at the 2024 Oscars. Here's how you can watch May December online from anywhere.

May December cast

Natalie Portman won an Academy Award for her performance in 2010's Black Swan. Portman has enjoyed a career that has spanned multiverses and galaxies far, far away with roles in both the Marvel and Star Wars universes, along with dramas and comedies closer to home with V for Vendetta, Closer, Mars Attacks!, No Strings Attached and I'm Still Here

Fellow Academy Award winner Julianne Moore took home her trophy in 2015 for her role in Still Alice. Some of her most lauded performances include her roles in The Hours, The End of the Affair, Boogie Nights, Game Change and The Kids Are All Right

Here is a more complete picture of the cast. 

  • Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry
  • Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo
  • Cory Michael Smith (Gotham) as Georgie Atherton
  • D.W. Moffett (Stealing Beauty) as Tom Atherton
  • Charles Melton (Riverdale) as Joe
  • Piper Curda (Rule the Mix) as Honor Atherton-Yoo

May December reviews

May December is officially "Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 92% positive score from critics.

May December awards

Here is a round up of the major awards that May December was won or been nominated for to date:

Golden Globes

  • Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (nominee)
  • Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy — Natalie Portman (nominee)
  • Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture — Julianne Moore (nominee)
  • Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture — Charles Melton (nominee)

American Film Institute

  • Top 10 Motion Picture of the Year

Critics Choice Awards

  • Best Supporting Actor — Charles Melton (nominee)
  • Best Supporting Actress — Julianne Moore (nominee)
  • Best Original Screenplay (nominee)

Gotham Awards

  • Outstanding Supporting Performance — Charles Melton (winner)
  • Best Screenplay — Samy Burch (nominee)

Film Independent Spirit Awards

  • Best Feature (nominee)
  • Best Director — Todd Haynes (nominee)
  • Best First Screenplay — Samy Burch (nominee)
  • Best Lead Performance — Natalie Portman (nominee)
  • Best Supporting Performance — Charles Melton (nominee)

London Critics' Circle Awards

  • Film of the Year (nominee)
  • Supporting Actress of the Year — Julianne Moore (nominee)
  • Supporting Actor of the Year — Charles Melton (nominee)

Los Angeles Film Critics Awards

  • Best Screenplay (runner-up)

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Best Supporting Actor — Charles Melton (winner)
  • Best Screenplay — Samy Burch (winner)

May December director

Todd Haynes directed May December from a script by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik. Some of Haynes' other movies of note include The Velvet Underground, Six by Sondheim, Wonderstruck, I'm Not There and Far from Heaven.

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022. 

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