<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=252463768261371&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Write On: 'May December' Writer Samy Burch

November 29, 2023
2 min read time

“A lot of the scenes are [shot in] one take. The space that they hold, the amount of air that they let sit there before saying their next line. I mean it’s an incredible amount of tension and intimacy,” says screenwriter Samy Burch about her new film May December, which streams on Netflix December 1st.  

It sounds so simple and commonplace, but it's a lesson in not only great acting but also writing great subtext. Directed by Todd Haynes and starring Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, May December is about Gracie (Moore), a middle-aged woman who seduced and later married a 13-year-old boy. Natalie Portman plays Elizabeth, an actress who gets to know Gracie so she can play her in an upcoming film. 

In my interview, Burch talks about taking inspiration from the real-life story, handling delicate material and finding the dark humor in this strange story of human folly. Samy also breaks down Elizabeth’s powerful monologue at the end of the film which is both hilarious and heartbreaking. 

“I think it's an intersection of a lot of things. I think it's the climax of Elizabeth's performance. I think we get the sense that it's she's never going to do better than this, she's never going to feel as confident.” 

To go deeper into the script, take a listen to the podcast. 


Untitled Document

Final Draft 13

Use what the pros use!

Final Draft 13 - More Tools. More productivity. More progress.

What’s new in Final Draft 13?

feature writing goals and productivity stats


Set goals and get valuable insights to take your work to the next level

feature typewriter


A new typewriter-like view option improves your focus

feature emoji


Craft more realistic onscreen text exchanges and make your notes more emotive

And so much more, thoughtfully designed to help unleash your creativity.

computer using Final Draf

Final Draft is used by 95% of film and television productions