Vox Lux follows the rise of Celeste from the ashes of a major national tragedy to pop super stardom. The film spans 18 years and traces important cultural moments through her eyes, starting in 1999 and concluding in 2017. In 1999, teenage Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) survives a violent tragedy. After singing at a memorial service, Celeste transforms into a burgeoning pop star with the help of her songwriter sister (Stacy Martin) and a talent manager (Jude Law). Celeste's meteoric rise to fame and concurrent loss of innocence dovetails with a shattering terrorist attack on the nation, elevating the young powerhouse to a new kind of celebrity: American icon, secular deity, global superstar. By 2017, adult Celeste (Natalie Portman) is mounting a comeback after a scandalous incident that derailed her career. Touring in support of her sixth album, a compendium of sci-fi anthems entitled Vox Lux, the indomitable, foul-mouthed pop savior must overcome her personal and familial struggles to ...
The subject matter and overall meaning behind this story is great; a girl who is involved in a terrible, topical tragedy and finds unexpected fame as a result. It's a wonderful story to examine and discuss fame, pop culture, etc, but unfortunately the overall presentation of this idea falls flat.
The performances were strong, especially and expectedly from Natalie Portman (although I don't agree with casting the same actor for multiple parts). That's kind of where the positives stop. The inconsistent pacing and 'throw everything at the wall and see what sticks' mentality made engaging in the movie difficult. One could argue that the hectic nature of the film is representative of Celeste's thought process, but the execution seemed unintentional and rather unnecessary at times.
I wanted to love this film, and I give kudos to Brady Corbet for exploring this story, but I feel it had a lot to say and ended up not saying much.
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