Film Review: ‘Vox Lux’ is a Visually Stark Metaphor for a Lost Cause

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CHICAGO – In the frozen emotional landscape of America, where mass shootings have become as regular as the sunrise, what better symbol for this madness is there than a pop star? Natalie Portman is that singer in “Vox Lux,” a victim and a perpetrator in the sin of mass death, and the soundtrack of gunfire.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Using a worshipped singer as a metaphor for lost cause USA is a brilliant stroke, created by writer/director Brady Corbet, an actor and filmmaker. Portman is proficient as usual, imbuing the singer Celeste with a bitter edge of desperation, augmented with the unadvised escapism in trying to erase a sordid past. Jude Law continues his chameleon-like foray in character acting, playing Celeste’s manager as both moral center and creep. The whole she-bang is narrated with expressive calm by Williem Dafoe, adding another layer to the killing joke of fantasy (pop music) and the real world.

Celeste Montgomery (Raffey Cassidy young, Natalie Portman thereafter) is a victim of a school shooting in 1999. In recovery, she and her sister Ellie (Stacy Martin) write a song about healing, and the nation embraces it, launching a career for Celeste as a pop singer. Her manager (Jude Law), carefully crafts a glam image for her, and Ellie writes the songs that made her a superstar.

Flash forward to 2017, as the now adult Celeste is put on the brink of despair when another mass shooting is carried out, with the gunmen using imagery from an old music video she made. She is also trying to repair her relationship with her now teenage daughter (Raffey Cassidy again) and begins to spiral downward right before an important show, debuting her latest album “Vox Lux.”

“Vox Lux” continues its nationwide release in Chicago on December 14th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Stacy Martin, Jennifer Ehle, Raffey Cassidy and Willem Dafoe. Written and directed by Brady Corbet. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Vox Lux”

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Natalie Portman is Glam in ‘Vox Lux’
Photo credit: Neon

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Vox Lux”

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