The story follows Gracie (Julianne Moore) and her much younger husband Joe Yoo (Charles Melton), as a well-known actress, Elizabeth (Natalie Portman), studies the families every move for an independent film they are doing on Gracie in particular. Joe and Gracie have two children that currently live at home, twins to be precise, Charlie Atherton-Yoo (Gabriel Chung) and Mary (Elizabeth Yu) but Gracie has other children from a previous marriage with Tom Atherton (D.W. Moffett).
Elizabeth is going to play Gracie in a film on her relationship with a young boy, the boy worked with her at the time at a local pet store, he was only 13 at the time and she of course was much older. As the story continues, we discover to what lengths Elizabeth will go to study for her upcoming role and nothing seems to be off limits. At times the relationship between Gracie and Joe takes on a more mother son role than husband and wife and as for Gracie herself she seems to be quite insecure, going into crying fits over her bake goods that she makes for the locals. As for animals in the film there are several, Irish Setters, caterpillars and butterflies, pet store animals and a fairly large snake that are all used without injustice to their roles.
The film is directed like a film from a college student working on his production final. At times it is well done but in a few special moments it seems to take on something of a Hitchcock effect making what might me a normal moment in time seem strange and unpronounced. I thought the writing was well done leaving few questions in the story but it is the score that they use in times of trouble or amazement that was loud and a bit to obnoxious for my ears.
I thought the acting in this film is superb by all the leads, Portland studying the Yoo family so that her portrayal of Gracie is picture perfect, sometimes going a bit too far. Moore being the convicted older woman of having a relationship with a minor and the effects it had on her and the others around her, especially her children. Melton who I thought was a bit stiff and insecure but understood later that this is the person he has become since being with an older woman and having children before he could ever experience what youth was for himself. I thought the story moved a bit too slow and at times also felt just a bit uninteresting for the first ninety minutes but became more intriguing in the final 30 minutes. I don’t think it will secure a box office audience but should do ok on Netflix especially considering the lead actors.