Vox Lux

Director: Brady Corbet

Starring: Natalie Portman, Raffey Cassidy, Jude Law

Release Date: December 7th

Vox Lux is not for everyone.

Brady Corbet delivers an artistic masterpiece with his sophomore melodrama. Tackling relevant and disturbing social issues, Vox Lux is a popstar’s coming of age film, unlike any of its predecessors. A large portion of the film seems like we are placed into a hazy dream. The colors and vibrant shots make for a visually masterful movie.

vox lux

Vox Lux is a three-act story that chronicles the career of fictional pop-star Celeste. Beginning in New York around the turn of the 21st century, the movie follows Celeste from her adolescence to her eventual stardom and subsequent tribulations; all while personal and indirect tragedies are taking place around her.

Raffey Cassidy stars as Celeste in the movie’s first and second acts. In act one, Cassidy plays a 13 year old Celeste as events unfold that eventually lead to her initial opportunity in the music industry. Of the three acts, act one is the most powerful and unforgettable. The movie begins with a bang quite like nothing I have seen before. The movie does a remarkable job of grabbing the viewers’ attention and not letting go. Cassidy is the key to the beginning’s success. She perfectly captures the innocence of a 13 year old girl.

Act two follows Celeste through the infancy of her career. Still played by Cassidy in this act, Celeste is around 15 or 16 and has found success musically. In this act we are introduced to Celeste’s manager. He’s a bit of a hard-ass and has been doing this music shit for a while now. In Act two it is clear that he is going to be a large part of Celeste’s life, as well as this movie. Her manager is played by Jude Law who arguably gives the best performance in Vox Lux.

It takes nearly an hour before we see Natalie Portman. When she arrives in act three, it is 2017. Portman plays an adult Celeste, a Celeste at her worst. Celeste is now at a Lady Gaga level of pop fame. She still has the same manager (Jude) who she had as a teenager. The recurring social issues continue to happen in our final act, this time indirectly. Act three also adds in a sprinkle of the dangers and mistakes that can be pitfalls to superstars.

Portman and Jude will, without a doubt, be recognized for their performances. Omission would be criminal. The two may have had the best performances of their respective careers.

Vox Lux is a movie that Corbet clearly wanted to be seen a certain way. It is a movie that is self-aware and wants its viewers to go home feeling a certain type of way. As someone who watches probably 12-15 movies a month, Vox Lux is unlike anything I have ever seen. The film was so unique in every aspect. The thing I am going to remember most about the film is the way it was shot. There was something about the lighting and camera angles among many other things that made Vox Lux so beautiful to look at.

It does not take a genius to understand why some people will hate Vox Lux. Sometimes we go to the movies to get away and be care free, rather than to be stressed. Corbet is clearly trying to make the audience uneasy. Though I am alone on this take, this movie is much better than Lady GaGa and Bradley Cooper’s “A star is Born”, a  movie that has literally been made 4 times before; A film that’s trailer renders it predictable. I can assure you one thing, when you watch the Vox Lux trailer you have no idea what you are about to get yourself into, nor have you seen anything like it.

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