Netflix’s ‘May December’ Submits for Comedy Categories at Golden Globes; Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore Compete Separately (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix and director Todd Haynes’ “May December,” starring Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, has been submitted in the comedy/musical categories for this year’s Golden Globe Awards, Variety has learned exclusively. It will now compete against other hopefuls such as “American Fiction,” “Barbie,” “The Holdovers” and “Poor Things.”

With the organization expanding its nominations from five to six, Haynes’ black comedy has a better shot at landing a spot in best picture.

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The film tells the story of an actress, Elizabeth Berry (Portman), who is set to portray Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Moore), a Georgia woman who became a notorious tabloid figure when she engaged in a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy, Joe. Twenty years after the scandal, Elizabeth visits Gracie and a now 36-year-old Joe (Charles Melton) to prepare for her role, exposing the fractures beneath their carefully constructed surface.

Portman and Moore have long been favorites of the Globes. Portman, who will be competing in lead actress (comedy), has garnered four noms throughout her career, winning two for “Closer” (2004) in supporting actress in a motion picture and “Black Swan” (2010) in lead actress (drama). She went on to win the Oscar for the latter. Her move to comedy now opens up another space in the lead actress drama category where heavy competition ensues including Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), Sandra Hüller (“Anatomy of a Fall”) and her two studio counterparts Carey Mulligan (“Maestro”) and Annette Bening (“Nyad”). This news mostly bodes well for on-the-bubble contenders such as Greta Lee (“Past Lives”) and Cailee Spaeny (“Priscilla”).

Moore, who has been submitted for the supporting actress category (the Globes don’t separate the supporting races by genre), has also won two statuettes over her nine nominations across film and television. She won for her work in HBO’s “Game Change” (2013) as lead actress (limited series or TV movie) and lead actress (drama) for “Still Alice” (2015). She won the Emmy and Oscar for both Globe-winning roles, respectively.

After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was acquired by Netflix, the streamer hopes for lots of recognition for the awards contender. Melton is coming off a Gotham nom for outstanding supporting performance, in addition to being named one of the breakthrough actor honorees at the upcoming Celebration of Cinema & Television by the Critics Choice Association. Debut feature writer Samy Burch was also nominated for best screenplay at the Gothams.

The more precursors awards and mentions for the movie, the better its chances of leading to Oscar voting. The film will also compete on the comedy side of the house for this year’s ACE Eddie Awards, which recognizes achievements in editing, offering a shot for Affonso Gonçalves to pick up a mention.

The film will hold its premiere on Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Academy Museum, where the entire cast and filmmakers are expected to attend. It will open in theaters on Friday, Nov. 17, before streaming on Netflix’s platform in the U.S. and Canada on Dec. 1.

Read the latest Golden Globes predictions on Variety Awards Circuit in the film and television categories

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