Luis Martinez

Updated Saturday, February 24, 2024-15:24

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The secret of melodrama is the mirror.

And a director like Todd Haynes,

so perfectly obsessed with

Douglas Sirk

(the director of melodramas and mirrors) to the point of daring, as he dared, to compose in

Far from Heaven

(2002) a mirror of the


classic , knows it well .

Heaven Only Knows


Secrets of a Scandal

(a bizarre title if there ever was one to translate

May December

) is a mirror from beginning to end;

a mirror of herself.

And a mirror of cinema and even life.

Of course, a mirror so perfectly polished, stark and voracious that it cuts.

The story is told of an actress

(Natalie Portman)

who goes to a woman's house

(Julianne Moore)

to learn how to be her;

to imitate her.

What the former wants is for the latter to show her her role in her next film, which, appropriately based on real events, is nothing more than

her own foreign life.

20 years ago, when Moore's character was 35, she became bait for all the scandals by seducing a 13-year-old boy, a boy who ended up becoming her husband and father of three children who are now teenagers.

What follows is the punctual description of a collective disaster where everyone, absolutely everyone, does nothing other than live a deferred life, a fake life, a life that, as Sirk would say, is nothing other than, once again, a

Imitation of life.

Haynes, with his usual wisdom, uses at times (in just a little more than one scene) the language of the filthiest TV movie to construct a cultured, bloodless, disturbing and exhaustingly confusing (in the best of senses) parable about manipulation. , the traces of child abuse, immaturity, the cruel lie of romantic love, the absolute lack of scruples of the media... The camera moves outside and inside completely lost characters who never quite know whether what they experience is real, fiction or the reflection of a reality distantly adapted by fiction.

Mirrors and labyrinths, indeed, have a lot in common.

In this way, the film works with the strange and disastrous mechanism of a time bomb where

nothing is exactly what it seems.

Or, on the contrary, everything aspires to be neatly its most banal appearance.

Everything seems one second away from exploding.

Everyone is reflected in everything.

All mirrors lie.

What seems like a film focused on denouncing a flagrant case of abuse ends up being a perfect x-ray of us.

In effect, we said, the entire film is a perfectly polished, stark and voracious mirror.

And it makes blood.



: Todd Haynes.


: Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, Charles Melton, Cory Michael Smith.


: 113 minutes.


united states.