May 23, 2024

Despite heavy rains which have closed some New York City subway lines, schools and movie theaters — including Alamo Drafthouse locations — the New York Film Festival plans to move forward with its opening night screening of Netflix’s “May December” on Friday.

The soapy drama is scheduled for a 6 p.m. showing at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall to kick off the 61st annual festival, followed by a second showing at 9 p.m. Filmmaker Todd Haynes is scheduled to participate in a post-screening Q&A, but stars Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore are not expected to attend due to the ongoing actors strike. Following the screening, annual festival sponsor Campari throws a glitzy after-party at Tavern on the Green.

Organizers confirmed to Variety that, as of Friday afternoon, the events will proceed as planned. The tai-state region has blanketed by rain for most of the week, but it has picked up over the course of Friday, falling as much as an inch an hour and making streets impassable, snarling traffic, prompting at least one school evacuation and prompting Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams to declare a state of emergency. Despite the inclement weather, Broadway shows haven’t announced they are closing, so evening events may move forward.

“May December” centers on the scandalous 20-year age gap between married couple Gracie and Joe (Moore and “Riverdale” star Charles Melton), whose relationship sparked a national tabloid scandal because Joe was just 13 when the two fell in love. Decades later, their union is put to the test when Portman’s character Elizabeth, a popular TV actress, travels to Georgia to study the life of Gracie, whom she’ll be playing in a movie.

The film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May, where Netflix subsequently acquired if for $20 million, and makes its North American premiere at the NYFF. “May December” will be released theatrically on Nov. 17 before landing on Netflix on Dec. 1.

Recent NYFF opening night films have included Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise,” Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” Steve McQueen’s “Lovers Rock” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.”

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