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Posts Tagged ‘“Vox Lux”’

Natalie Portman

“VOX LUX” My rating: B 

110 minutes | MPAA rating: R

One of the movies’ recurring themes — the pop/country/rock idol who makes great music despite (or perhaps because of)  personal demons — gets an innovative reworking in Brady Corbet’s “Vox Lux.”

The ever-surprising Natalie Portman is terrific as Celeste, a sort of musical mashup of Madonna, Gaga and especially Sia (who wrote the film’s original songs). But whereas those divas seem to more or less have their heads on straight, Celeste is always walking a fine line between musical brilliance and emotional meltdown.

Interestingly enough, Portman doesn’t appear on screen until halfway through the film.  Corbet’s screenplay opens with a horrific scene from Celeste’s youth — a school shooting that leaves our teen protagonist (Raffey Cassidy) with a bullet permanently imbedded in her neck (this explains her  collection of scar-hiding chokers).

Almost by accident, Celeste’s fame as a survivor of tragedy segues into a burgeoning career in music. Under the guidance of a savvy but fatherly manager (Jude Law) she begins recording songs with her older sister Eleanor (Stacy Martin) and touring the world. (The sisters have parents, yes, but they are seen only fleetingly.  Clearly, they’re not important to this yarn.)

Initially the girls behave like the good small-town Christians they are…but life in the fast lane takes its toll.  Celeste loses her virginity to the lead guitarist (Micheal Richardson) of a semi-psychedelic rock band.

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